Trisha is a fake too.
A single mum and an out-of-work actor pretended to be lovers on a programme about obesity. But they had met only the night before.
In another show a male model claiming to be a Casanova was confronted by an ex-girlfriend. The performance was another sham - the pair were strangers until they met in the studio.
The new scandal comes after we revealed yesterday that fake guests were used on BBC's rival show Vanessa. Two producers and a researcher have been suspended.
As shaken TV chiefs pledged tighter procedures, presenter Trisha Goddard said last night: "We check everything. But the reality is one or two people are going to slip through the net." But Broadcasting Minister Janet Anderson warned that the scandals could kill off confrontational daytime talk shows.
Single mum Sharon Wolfers told how she posed on Trisha as a buxom brunette who wanted to lose weight while actor Noel Anthony appeared as her boyfriend. The 30-year-old mum said she was hired by the same man who took Vanessa for a ride - agency boss Tony Papotto.
Sharon said: "He said he wanted someone who was fat but keen to lose weight and a partner who wanted them to stay as they were.
"He said not to worry about the other person as he would fix someone up."
Sharon was contacted with travel arrangements for filming in Norwich.
The two "lovers" met at London's Liverpool Street station and on the journey discussed what story to tell.
Sharon, of Walthamstow, London, said: "I was astonished how easy it all was.
"They didn't carry out any checks. Even when they were filming I thought 'I can't believe we are getting away with this'."
Noel, 28, of Earls Court, London, said: "Tony told me I was to play a bloke called Graham who didn't want his girlfriend to lose weight.
"One of the researchers rang me on my mobile but she only asked what I did for a living. I said I was a labourer, which I'm not.
"Later we had a briefing from the producers - they kept saying we had to appear to be loving.
"They didn't ask questions to verify who we were. I got the impression they just wanted a good show."
Model Eddie Wheeler, 34, of Brixton, south London, duped three shows. He told The Mirror: "The fact that people like me can appear and tell a different story each time makes a mockery of daytime TV."
BBC director of broadcasting Matthew Bannister said: "We are carrying out the most thorough investigation. We are also putting in place a thorough review of research procedures."
Broadcasting Minister Janet Anderson urged the BBC to consider scrapping the Vanessa show.
She told BBC1's Question Time: "I think there is a serious question mark over the future of these prgrammes.
"And I think we do need to consider whether this is what the public wants."
- Voice of The Mirror - Page 6
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|Author:||Wright, Matthew; North, Nic|
|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Feb 12, 1999|
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