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LAST NIGHT'S VIEW: Hugh 'n' cry for grinning Green.

Byline: TONY PURNELL

YOU know what they say. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. And I wanna tell you friends, and I mean this most sincerely, it was true in the case of Hughie Green.

No one was bigger and no one fell harder.

The Real Hughie Green (C4) revealed another truism where TV stars are concerned. The bigger the smile the more they have to hide.

In the case of the grinning host of Double Your Money and Opportunity Knocks it was an outsize ego and a vile temper.

Not to mention a string of affairs and a number of illegitimate children including tragic Paula Yates.

We were introduced to another by the name of Barry Hands, who was Hughie with a Brummie accent. All the dark secrets came tumbling out in the documentary which pulled no punches and sent the needle soaring on my personal clapometer.

Hughie was nice as pie to the quiz contestants and young hopefuls on his talent show.

But away from the cameras he terrified his children and cheated on his wife who left him after he bedded two sisters.

"Before you find the hidden charms in their mother I'm going," she told him.

He was short of friends as a child star and was so full of his own importance he made plenty of enemies as an adult. He went bankrupt when he unsuccessfully sued the BBC for dropping his radio version of Opportunity Knocks. But he bounced back when ITV snapped up the format for television.

Staunchly patriotic, Hughie fell from grace in the late 1970s when he used the show to bang the drum for his political views and vanished from our screens. He died four years ago a broken man.

It makes you wonder what dark secrets lie behind the smiles of other gushing TV presenters. The sad thing is we have to wait until they are pushing up daisies to find out.

THE Heat Is On (BBC1) was yet another endurance series. One bedraggled girl volunteer decided enough was enough and quit. So did I.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 8, 2001
Words:348
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