Channel 5 to air one-off documentary about Willy Wonka Experience scandal

Documentary expected to chronicle the disaster behind failed Glasgow event

Ellie Muir
Wednesday 06 March 2024 17:04 GMT
Oompa Loompa from Glasgow Wonka experience breaks silence

Channel 5 has announced that it has commissioned a one-off documentary chronicling the disaster behind the failed Willy Wonka Chocolate Experience in Glasgow.

Last week, astonishing images of the Wonka experience gone wrong stunned millions of social media users, after the event that promised to have “delectable” chocolate fountains and “whimsical” Oompa-Loompas” left children in tears and their parents furious.

Channel 5 is the first broadcaster to jump at the opportunity to explore the bizarre events that took place behind the scenes.

The broadcaster has confirmed to The Independent that it will be making a stand-alone documentary titled Willy Wonka: The Scandal That Rocked Britain, which will be aired later this month.

While the broadcaster has said it is being produced by Mentorn Media, it has not confirmed a synopsis.

The documentary will likely hear from the angry parents who travelled up to two hours to get to the event and shelled out £35 for the “world of pure imagination”, but were met by fed-up actors struggling to recite scripts, sparsely placed IKEA furniture and low-resolution candyland posters pinned to walls.

Children were offered a couple of jelly babies along with a quarter glass of Barr’s limeade.

The AI-generated poster of the Wonka experience vs reality (Stuart Sinclair/Facebook)

After the pictures of the “immersive” experience went viral, it became clear that there was something darker at play: the actors have claimed they haven’t been paid the £500 fee they were promised and parents reportedly called the police to the event.

Michael Archibald, 18, an actor hired to perform at the experience, told The Independent that when he arrived for what he thought was a professional acting gig, he found open-plan changing rooms, meagre offerings of sweets and shoddy decorations, including an AI-generated poster of a gingerbread house, which didn’t live up to the pictures used to market the event.

Actor at the ‘Willy Wonka Experience’ (Supplied)

Staff still say they are awaiting the first payment from the organisers.

Archibold told The Independent: “Everything was described as a world of wonders and imagination, an immersive experience.

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“But once I walked in to see that everything had still been getting set up, I felt like things were going to take a turn for the worst from then on.

“There was a lot of dancing about with our contracts and mentions of pay felt flimsy.

Willy’s Chocolate Experience organiser Billy Coull apologised for his “vision of the artistic rendition of a well-known book that didn’t come to fruition” and offered 850 people their money back before closing the Glasgow experience.

Willy Wonka: The Scandal That Rocked Britain will air on 16 March, Channel 5.

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