Two more shows accused of using bogus guests

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The Independent Online
THE SCANDAL of hoaxers on so-called "confessional TV" chat shows widened yesterday after claims were made against two more shows.

It was claimed that the "boyfriend" of one guest on ITV's Trisha - presented by Trisha Goddard - was an actor she had met only the night before. Sharon Tolfers said that she and the actor, Anthony Noel, met at a railway station before travelling to the show's studios in Norwich.

Another guest, Eddie Wheeler, said he had appeared on the show with a woman posing as a "former girlfriend".

Mr Wheeler also claimed to have fooled The Vanessa Show and the now defunct ITV programme The Time, The Place.

United Productions - which makes Trisha for Anglia TV - said it had been duped and not "colluded" in recruiting guests. It said that all the guests are checked thoroughly - and would be held "liable for any consequences if they are telling lies". The company also made The Time, The Place before it was scrapped.

The fresh allegations, made in The Mirror, came only a day after three members of the team behind BBC1's The Vanessa Show were suspended after allegations that "guests" were in fact recruited from agencies.

The daytime chatshow format came under attack from the broadcasting minister Janet Anderson, who said there should be a question mark over the future of such programmes.

Jocelyn Hay, chairman of the Voice of the Listener and Viewer, said: "This undermines the whole integrity of the programmes, and makes a farce of them."

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