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Channel 5 apologises and pays damages to woman featured on TV show

Channel 5 bosses have apologised and paid damages to a woman featured in an episode of a television programme called Can’t Pay? We’ll Take it Away!, a High Court judge has been told.

danna Clarke took legal action against Channel 5 Broadcasting after complaining about the misuse of her private information in respect of the filming, making and “multiple broadcasts” of an episode of the programme.

Channel 5 Broadcasting had mounted a defence to her claim.

But today a lawyer representing Ms Clarke told Mr Justice Murray, at a High Court hearing in London, that the dispute had been resolved by agreement.

Solicitor Alex Cochrane said Ms Clarke has accepted an offer which would involve Channel 5 Broadcasting agreeing to pay substantial damages and apologising.

A barrister representing Channel 5 Broadcasting said their client was prepared to accept that “on this occasion” it may well have got the “balance wrong”.

Kirsten Sjovoll said Channel 5 Broadcasting was prepared to settle the claim and to apologise to Ms Clarke for the “distress caused to her”.

Mr Cochrane told the judge that Ms Clarke had issued proceedings in November 2020 for the “misuse of her private information in respect of the filming, making and multiple broadcasts, from 2015 until early 2021, of an episode of Can’t Pay? We’ll Take it Away”.

He said the episode showed Ms Clarke “in her home and in the street outside” in a state of “considerable distress”.

Mr Cochrane said that until May 2015 Ms Clarke had lived in a rented flat with her daughter.

He said she had suffered “serious financial problems”, had not paid her rent for “several months” and a writ of possession had been obtained on behalf of the owner of the flat to evict Ms Clarke and her daughter.

In May 2015, two High Court enforcement agents arrived at Ms Clarke’s home to evict Ms Clarke and her daughter and gave her an hour to leave the flat, he said.

“A film crew was in attendance with the High Court enforcement agents,” said Mr Cochrane.

“The claimant made it clear to the film crew, in the presence of the High Court enforcement agents, that she did not want to be filmed.”

He said the film crew left when asked to leave by Ms Clarke.

But he said the High Court enforcement agents wore bodycams and radio microphones.

“They were recording video footage and audio of what was taking place in the claimant’s home,” he said.

“The video and audio recordings obtained in this way were then edited and incorporated into an episode of Can’t Pay.”

He said the episode was first broadcast by Channel 5 on October 28 2015.

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