ITV’s The Real Full Monty has been thrown into controversy over claims the show’s stars were ‘paid more than they raised’.
Alexander Armstrong and Ashley Banjo returned last month with the show, which first made its debut last year.
Originally the one-off special saw dance supremo Ashley marshal a band of famous male celebrity novices through their moves, whipping them into shape to perform a frenzy-inducing striptease, to raise awareness of prostate cancer.
For 2018, a new women-focused show also aired with celebs including Coleen Nolan, broadcaster Victoria Derbyshire, Emmerdale actress Sally Dexter and reality TV star Megan McKenna.
They were joined by former Liberty X singer Michelle Heaton, actress Helen Lederer, TV legend Ruth Madoc and presenter Sarah-Jane Crawford.
The show was to help raise awareness of women’s cancers and the importance of health checks.
However, it’s been alleged that the show’s stars were paid up to £10,000 each to appear while the series directly raised only £4,000 for cancer charities.
“Viewers were made to think The Real Full Monty: Ladies Night was all about raising awareness and funds for breast cancer,” a source claimed to The Sun newspaper. “While it did raise huge awareness and encourage viewers to check their bodies a host of the stars took a massive payday in the name of charity.
“It’s pretty appalling that this wasn’t made clear to viewers. Fans will be furious that they pocketed such huge sums.”
A spokesperson for ITV told the tabloid the shows were about “raising awareness” rather than money.
They said: “The Real Full Monty shows’ focus and aim was raising awareness about cancer and encouraging people to make vital health checks. They clearly weren’t television charity fundraisers.
“They were ITV’s most watched factual shows this year, with overwhelmingly positive feedback.”
Update: It’s since been reported that the male celebs – TOWIE’s James Arg Argent, EastEnders actor John Partridge, The Wanted singer Tom Parker, former footballer John Hartson and TV presenter, ex of the late Jade Goody, Jeff Brazier and retired England Rugby International Ugo Monye – are also alleged to have been paid a fee for the show.
There’s no suggestion that either the contestants of the male or female show have done wrong.
The allegations have been met with a flurry of criticism online.
One person tweeted: “Very disappointed if true. They should have been doing it for NO fee. My wife has secondary breast cancer and thus thoroughly saddens me.”
And another reacted to the claims: “I’m sorry but this is disgusting.. I thought they were doing it for the love of the charity not for a pay cheque!”