GMTV vows to refund viewers

GMTV has pledged £35 million to refund viewers ripped off by its premium phone-in scandal.

The show’s bosses have apparently drawn up a list of 25 million people who were urged to enter competitions after winners had been chosen in a scam going back four years, according to reports in The Mirror.

And, next month, GMTV plan to give away an extra £2.5 million in prizes as a goodwill gesture to its viewers.

Ironically, on Wednesday morning’s show, presenters Kate Garraway and Ben Shepherd urged those affected to phone in to claim their refund.

A spokeswoman said: “We have decided to err on the side of caution and make more people eligible for refunds than were actually excluded from the competition. This is to ensure no one is left out.

“We didn’t make £35 million profit from this, more than half of that has been spent on production costs, prize money and on the phone provider. But we will refund the full amount, and we want to make it as simple as possible for viewers to get their money back.

The spokesperson added: “We feel we are doing more than other broadcasters to encourage people to claim.”

At the end of August, 250 prizes of £10,000 will be picked from among the hordes of viewers who have been conned by the show since 2003.

This latest development follows the announcement on Wednesday that the show’s managing director Paul Corley will be resigning over the phone swindle.

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