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FURY AT KILROY FLASHER; Sick hoaxer strips on live telly as Beeb chat show gears up for ratings war.

Talk show king Robert Kilroy-Silk was panned yesterday for letting a notorious hoaxer expose himself on his show.

Former Labour MP Kilroy looked scandalised and apologised to viewers after a man calling himself Alex Leroy dropped his trousers live on air and jumped about naked.

But "Leroy" was later revealed to be a known con artist banned from other chatshows.

Observers pointed out that his stunt came on the first day of Kilroy's head- to-head war with ITV rival Vanessa Feltz.

And a spokesman for Vanessa accused Kilroy of a cheap bid to win ratings.

"We believe the Kilroy show is feeling the pressure," he said. "This man is a well-known hoaxer."

Furious church leaders said the BBC had forgotten its standards by letting "Leroy" on air.

They accused the Corp-oration of "dumbing down" with shows like Kilroy and the new National Lottery Big Ticket.

Housewives' favourite Kilroy was criticised by broadcasting watchdogs last year for using a hoaxer who made paedophile claims on air.

The man was later arrested.

Kilroy ran into trouble again at 9.05am yesterday, as an estimated 1.5million people including pre-school children watched his studio debate about adultery.

"Leroy" had just finished bragging about cheating on his girlfriend with five other women when angry women in the audience said he should be castrated.

He responded by dropping his trousers, jumping to the front of the stage and wiggling his bare backside.

A horrified-looking Kilroy blustered: "This is totally unacceptable".

He ordered the flasher off the set to cheers from the women.

"Leroy" was grabbed and hustled away by production staff and BBC security guards.

Kilroy told viewers: "I'm sorry my mother had to see that."

But despite his show of outrage, Vanessa's aide reckoned Kilroy is more interested in seeing off the competition than in keeping weirdos like "Leroy" off the air.

Vanessa's show moved to a morning slot yesterday to do battle with Kilroy.

"This man is a well-known hoaxer," said her spokesman.

"He is top of our banned list and is known for using different names and making different claims.

"Two years ago, he duped Vanessa when he claimed to be a hypnotist.

"He also appeared on an Anglia TV show saying he would not take a paper bag off his head until Princess Diana gave up Dodi Fayed.

"He certainly is not called Alex."

Kilroy said last night: "Both my production staff and I are extremely sorry for any offence caused by this morning's events.

"We don't want this sort of thing on our show.

"We strive to avoid this sort of behaviour, but people must take responsibility for their own actions."

A BBC spokeswoman insisted they had no idea "Leroy" planned to expose himself.

She said: "He spoke rationally and clearly from the beginning of the show.

"We were completely unaware of his intentions."

The spokeswoman confirmed viewers had complained about the full-frontal shocker.

But she added: "Several callers have offered their support and appreciation for the manner in which Robert dealt with the matter."

She admitted "Leroy" had been on Kilroy in 1994 talking about stage hypnotism.

But she insisted he had been booked "in good faith" to talk about infidelity.

There was little appreciation for Kilroy from Scot-land's angry church chiefs.

Church of Scotland spokesman the Rev Bill Wallace branded the BBC "pathetic" when told of the on-air strip.

"It appears they have run out of ideas," he said.

"Someone dropping their trousers on telly is nothing more than a pathetic gimmick."

Father Tom Connelly, of the Catholic Church, stormed: "The BBC are stooping very low in a bid to win viewers. This is not what you would expect of them.

"It's another example of lowering standards.

"The BBC is a public service. I hope people will write in volumes to complain bitterly about this."
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Author:Graham, Polly
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 24, 1998
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