Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/02/19/richarddandjudy_phone_fraud/

Regulators probe Richard and Judy quiz line furore

ICSTIS investigates

By John Oates

Posted in Broadband, 19th February 2007 14:08 GMT

The company behind Channel 4's daytime telly show Richard and Judy is being quizzed by regulators over the way competitors for the show's "You Say, We Pay" quiz are selected from a premium-rate phone line.

According to emails seen by The Mail on Sunday, Richard and Judy's afternoon show has called for people to enter its quiz even after it had chosen who had been selected.

Punters who ring within the first five to seven minutes of the show going on air have a chance of being chosen to take part in the competition. Twenty-four people are selected from those for vetting, with one finally chosen to take part in the phone-in competition.

But at 5.19pm there is another appeal, calling for people to ring the £1-a-time line for a chance of entering. However, the winner has already been chosen from the first group of calls.

A spokesman for Icstis, which regulates premium phonelines, told us: "We are gathering evidence from Eckoh (which provides the phone service), Cactus TV (the production company), and Channel 4. We've dealt with Eckoh in the past but this is the first broadcast complaint."

The spokesman said Icstis would consider whether any company was in breach of its code of conduct.

Icstis has received complaints from the public in the wake of the Mail on Sunday story.

Cactus TV, Channel4 and Eckoh said they would co-operate with any investigation to make sure they were following relevant regulations.®