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12:30pm Wednesday 3rd October 2012 in News
A BLACK Country trader left a BBC reporter with a nasty taste in the mouth after he poured what was believed to be a bottle of urine over him in a confrontation during the filming of an episode of consumer show Watchdog.
Satellite and aerial installation boss Mark Smith, who has advertised in the Dudley News, lost his cool when the show’s Rogue Traders team descended on him in Redditch to quiz him before the programme aired last Wednesday (September 26).
Investigative journalist Matt Allwright ambushed the tattooed businessman as he left Redditch Magistrates Court which he had attended for an unrelated county court case.
But unimpressed at the BBC’s impromptu interview attempt, he poured the contents of a plastic bottle over Mr Allwright – who, despite the soaking, carried on regardless trying to grill him over claims of shoddy workmanship.
The ambush occurred after programme-makers put cameras and actors into position at homes in Worcestershire where Watchdog expert Keith Bail had rigged up false aerial faults to catch out unscrupulous tradesmen.
BBC viewers saw two Black Country and Worcestershirebased traders called out to diagnose and fix the problems and both were deemed by the Watchdog expert, watching on camera, to have made schoolboy errors when attempting to rectify the made-specially-for- TV faults.
Mark Smith denied any involvement with the traders called out, but confirmed they had permission to trade under his name, which he described as “highly regarded in the aerial business”.
He added: “Neither of the people involved in the programme work for me but instead have their own businesses and are sole traders.”
He confirmed he worked for Mark Smith Digital Aerials but said he did no aerial installations and the company, which was registered in Stourbridge, completed “over 10,000 successful aerial jobs” and received “hundreds of positive phone calls” between 2009 and 2011 when it ceased trading.
He said he had forwarded “excellent reviews from customers”
to BBC programmemakers – outweighing the five complaints investigated by the TV show which he claims was “created to discredit” him.
The muscular business boss added: “The BBC did not allow me a reasonable time to respond to their incorrect allegations.
“I am not a rogue trader and anyone who knows me will verify that. I have worked in the local community for many years and provided people with a very good service.”
He slammed the TV investigation as “shoddy and a total fabrication” and described the BBC’s approach over the matter as “intimidating and bullying”.
He added: “I did not throw anything at the presenter; he came up behind me and I was taken by surprise.
“As I turned my drink went on him. The statement that I went to the toilet with a drink and came out with something else is a complete lie. I am currently taking legal advice.”
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