Channel 4 Says No Evidence Found To Support Nadine Dorries’ Claim It Used Actors On Reality Show

The culture secretary claimed Tower Block Of Commons, which she appeared on in 2010, hired actors to play real people.
Nadine Dorries
Nadine Dorries
Kirsty O'Connor - PA Images via Getty Images

Channel 4 has said no evidence has been found to support Nadine Dorries’ claim the broadcaster used paid actors for a reality show she appeared in 12 years ago.

The now-culture secretary was one of four MPs to appear in Tower Block of Commons back in 2010, where they all spent a week living with a family on different housing estates.

During a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS) hearing in May, the Cabinet minister claimed she “discovered later [her hosts] were actually actors”.

Dorries said: “The parents of the boys in that programme actually came here to have lunch with me and contacted me to tell me, actually, they were in acting school and that they weren’t really living in a flat, and they weren’t real, they were actually actors.

“And there’s a pharmacist or somebody that I went to see who prepared food, she was also a paid actress as well.”

Following the accusations, Channel 4 said it asked the show’s production company Love Productions to carry out a thorough investigation.

The broadcaster said it then reviewed the findings and conducted its own internal searches and review.

In a statement documenting its process and findings, Channel 4 said: “At the DCMS Committee meeting on 19 May 2022, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Nadine Dorries MP alleged that contributors to the 2010 Channel 4 series Tower Block Of Commons, in which she appeared, were paid actors, in acting school and/or not living in the homes in which they were portrayed in the series as living.

“Channel 4 takes any allegations of misrepresentation extremely seriously and always rigorously investigates any such claims.

“In keeping with standard practice, Channel 4 asked Love Productions, who produced the programme, to conduct a thorough investigation into the concerns raised.

“The investigation, overseen by their external lawyers, encompassed contributors who were ordinary members of the public and with whom the Secretary of State had significant interaction.

“It involved speaking with many of those involved in the making of the series, including contributors and crew, and retrieving and reviewing relevant documentation and footage, including 85 hours of raw footage filmed for the series.

“Channel 4 then reviewed Love Productions’ findings and undertook its own internal document searches and review.

“Neither Love Productions’ investigation nor Channel 4’s internal inquiries revealed any evidence to support the allegations made about the programme.”

DCMS committee chairman Julian Knight said: “The committee has written to the Secretary of State on this matter and invited comments from her as a matter of urgency.

“Now that Channel 4 and Love Productions have concluded the investigation, we look forward to receiving the Secretary of State’s response, which we will then publish.”

It comes after Dorries announced the government’s plans to privatise Channel 4, which has been publicly owned since its creation in 1982, earlier this year.

A number of public figures – including famous names from the network like Anna Richardson, Kirstie Allsopp and Russell T Davies – have spoken out against the potential sale.


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