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Apprentice contestant conviction 'held back'

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    Posted: 29 Sep 2010 at 09:49

Apprentice contestant conviction 'held back'

By Martin Fricker 29/09/2010



The new series of The Apprentice is in chaos after one of the BBC1 show's contestants hid his criminal past from TV bosses.

Ex-Royal Marine Christopher Farrell appeared on the show despite being branded a liar by a judge weeks earlier and narrowly escaping jail.

But as he was convicted after criminal record checks were made for the show, he was able to start filming days after his court appearance.

Producers only discovered his past after being contacted by the Daily Mirror.

A bbc insider said: "This is a huge embarrassment.

"The producers pride themselves on rigorous checks on every contestant but he slipped through the net.


"For it to come out just a week before the show begins is a nightmare. There are a few red faces right now."

Farrell, 29, was arrested in 2009 after an extendable baton and knuckle duster were found in his car.

At Plymouth crown court he admitted two charges of possessing an offensive weapon in September 2009.

Judge Francis Gilbert refused to believe they were "trinkets" from his Army days and in the car for "no reason". He handed him a two-year conditional discharge and warned he would be jailed next time.

The BBC said: "The BBC asks for any information relevant including criminal convictions and makes a case by case judgement based on the information provided, the nature of the given programme and the nature of the information divulged."

Read more: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/09/29/apprentice-contestant-conviction-held-back-115875-22594512/#ixzz10uGY9RWV

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