Last Saturday night the nation watched as 31-year-old bricklayer Nathan Hageman won the very first £1million pound prize on Simon Cowell’s new ITV game show Red or Black.
But it later emerged that the first contestant of the new game show had previously served time in prison following a brutal attack on an ex partner.
In 2006 the 31-year-old from Reading spent two-and-a-half years in jail on charges for bodily harm and aggravated burglary.
The winner blamed his actions on his troubled upringing following his parents divorce when he was just 11 years old. He later insisted he had turned his life around since his 2009 release from prison.
‘It’s no excuse and I take full responsibility for what happened,’ he said. ‘I was an idiot.’
The story took a new turn at the weekend however, when Hageman gave an interview with a newspaper in which he described himself as the victim after being threatened by his ex-girlfriend’s new partner, to which he attacked the man through fear of his own safety.
When the court papers were checked it was revealed that the victim of the crime which Nathan Hageman was convicted was in fact a women – assumed to be the contestants ex-partner.
ITV have since come forward claiming they knew of the contestants past convictions, but said he had misinformed them about details of his past conviction.
They said: ‘We knew about the sentence but we believed it was the result of a confrontation with another man.’
Cowell and ITV producers then came under fire as demands flew in for the contestant to be stripped of his £1million winnings, however after a thorough investigation it appears their hands were tied, although Cowell hinted it would be wise for Hageman to give up or donate his winnings.
He said: ‘I’m not in a position to force anyone to do anything,’
‘He’s got to make his own decision.’ Said Cowell. ‘Now if I was him, I know what I would do.
‘I would give away part of the money to the person he had the altercation with and a charity, I mean I would do it.’
Despite Cowell’s advice, it seems Hageman is set on keeping his winnings after he was spotted on his first spending spree with new girlfriend Jane Makepeace. During his shopping spree he was seen trying on designer watches before the couple spent 30 minutes planning their luxury break at a Thomas Cook branch near his home.
Showing no remorse over his ex, Hageman arrogantly said: ‘I didn’t have to pay her a penny then, so why should I have to pay her now just because I’m a millionaire?’
The question is, should he have been allowed on the show in the first place? Is it right to give that sort of life-changing money to a criminal or equally wrong to deny someone the chance to compete in the competition, someone who had already been punished for their crimes?