TV's most evil gameshow winners

Matt Looker

8th September 2011

Shock! Outrage! Fury! As the tabloids have been carrying out a rational and neutral debate as to whether "scumbag lout" ex-con Nathan Hageman deserves his million-pound prize money from Red or Black?, here's a look at some more controversial gameshow winners.

Simon Cowell was said to be 'livid' when ITV announced its decision to pay the million-pound prize to Red or Black? winner Nathan Hageman who, it later transpired, had served a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence for assaulting his ex-girlfriend. "That's well unfair," Cowell probably said, "That's my money - I've been saving up to buy Neptune."

So does Hageman deserve the money that he 'won' in this completely random game of chance and luck? Or should he burn in a Daily Mail-designed hell for all eternity? Well, here at we don't like to take a stance one way or the other, but we will point out that Hageman isn't the first 'bad' TV gameshow contestant to win lots of money...

Ted Bundy on Who Wants To Be A Millionnaire

Things got off to an unusual start when Bundy immediately showed off the decapitated head he had brought with him as a good luck mascot, but at least it provided Chris Tarrant with plenty of between-round small talk.

Things got worse though when Bundy used his 50:50 lifeline and, upon being told that two of the possible answers were now dead, he tried to have sex with them.

And yet the notorious killer still made off with 250,000 big ones, eventually giving up when he became stuck on a question and realised that he couldn't phone any friends because they were all residing in his fridge.
Jeffrey Dahmer on Catchphrase

Dahmer had mixed success on Catchphrase, correctly guessing several of Mr Chips' animated phrases straight away, but occasionally guessing wildly with 'sayings' like "sexy dead people" and "there's nothing tastier than a 14-year-old boy's flesh". Even Roy Walker seemed unconvinced as he said "it's good but it's not right".
Charles Manson on Family Fortunes

Odds were stacked in Charles' favour when his 18-strong cult, known as The Manson Family, far outweighed the numbers in the opposing team, the Hodges Family from Milton Keynes.

Having successfully won the grand prize of 3,000 notes, as well as a set of gardening tools and a murder mystery weekend, Charles Manson narrowly missed out on winning the Honda car when both he and his partner failed to guess the top answer 'films' for the category 'Things you would associate with Roman Polanski'.
Adolf Hitler on Bullseye

With Goebbels fancying himself as a mean player in a game of arrows, he and Hitler progressed rapidly through the early stages of Bullseye, winning a lawnmower, ghetto blaster and 130 bob before getting to Bully's Prize Board.

Unfortunately, Hitler ruined his chances when, upon hearing Jim Bowen's usual catchphrase "keep out of the black and in the red, there's nothing in this game for two in a bed", he launched into a racist and homophobic rant. He still went home with a set of darts, silver tankard and a 'bendy bully' though.
Satan on Big Break

The Prince of Darkness originally looked like a force to be reckoned with when he came on the snooker-based gameshow, picking the pink ball out of the bag and being teamed with show regular Willie Thorne.

Unfortunately, after coming undone on the trick question, Lucifer was out after the first round. Any chance of a decent consolation prize also disappeared when, upon messing up Virgo's Trickshot, in which he had to swerve the white ball round a wall of reds to pot the black, Satan roared in frustration, brought a rain of hellfire down upon the television studio, turned Jim Davidson into a bigoted cunt and returned to the netherworld.

To appease the Antichrist, the producers sent him a souvenir snooker cue anyway, along with the blood of six virgins.
Ah, it's funny how these moments get forgotten in the annals of TV history. I've actually never seen the 'Satan' episode of Big Break - I've only seen clips of that classic damnation on old episodes of It'll Be Alright On The Night.

Anyway, it all puts the media circus surrounding Nathan Hageman into perspective, doesn't it?

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