ITV defends paying Real Full Monty contestants £10,000 each

The stars of The Real Full Monty: Ladies Night - Television Stills
The stars of The Real Full Monty: Ladies Night - Television Stills

ITV has responded to criticism over its decision to pay contestants on its show The Real Full Monty £10,000 each –while the Ladies Night episode raised just £4,000 for breast cancer research.

Celebrities including chef Ainsley Harriott, Loose Women panellist Coleen Nolan and Hi-de-Hi! actress Ruth Madoc performed an on-stage striptease for the show, which focused on prostate cancer and breast cancer in two live specials.

Until this week, a description of the show on ITV's website said: "some of our favourite celebrities bare all in the name of charity". This week, the text was changed to read "some of our favourite celebrities bare all to raise awareness".

"They clearly weren’t television charity fundraisers,” an ITV spokesperson told The Sun. "The Real Full Monty shows’ focus and aim was raising awareness about cancer and encouraging people to make vital health checks."

The spokesperson added: “They were ITV’s most watched factual shows this year, with overwhelmingly positive feedback.”

The controversy has divided opinion, as viewers debated whether celebrities should "donate their time for a good cause" on social media.

Broadcast last month, the show received positive reviews from critics, though the first episode also prompted four complaints to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom, from viewers who were distressed by brief moments of accidental full-frontal male nudity.