Chris Eubank and Paul Gascoigne ‘came to blows’ during filming of a show where they have to live in complete darkness for a week. Leaving staff asking why did Channel 4 let the troubled footballer take part?
Putting two volatile characters such as Paul Gascoigne and Chris Eubank together in a dark room sounds like a recipe for disaster.
So perhaps the producers behind new Channel 4 reality show Scared Of The Dark – which saw the pair living with other celebrities in a pitch-black bunker for eight days – should have anticipated the explosive result.
The two men came to blows after dramatically falling out and had to be separated, in scenes that even fellow contestants described as ‘astonishing’.
Gascoigne and Eubank’s co-participants, including TV presenter Scarlett Moffatt, retired boxer Nicola Adams and singer and Strictly star Max George, were left shocked at the punch-up, which forced producers to intervene.
Sources on the show have expressed their surprise that Gascoigne – known better as Gazza – was allowed to take part given his previous mental health issues.
The contenders: Line-up for new Channel 4’s Scared Of The Dark, from left to right, actress Donna Preston, ex-boxer Nicola Adams, reality star Chloe Burrows, Chris Eubank, the programme’s presenter Danny Dyer, Paul Gascoigne, comic Chris McCausland, singer Max George and TV star Scarlett Moffatt
On top of his well-documented problem with alcohol addiction, the former England footballer, 55, has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and suffered with obsessive compulsive disorder and bulimia.
Eccentric former boxer Eubank, 56, is no stranger to controversy himself with a string of driving-related convictions. He later quit the show halfway through the production schedule.
One source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The fact that Gazza and Chris came to blows in the way they did is surely proof that bosses should have been more careful with their selection processes.
‘The fall-out was big. They literally couldn’t stand each other and the other celebrities were literally stunned at the level of the row.
‘They have all been talking about it for weeks.
‘We have seen arguments on reality programmes for years but this is something else. The show tested even the most calm of people so this was always going to be difficult for Gazza. It all seems very irresponsible of both Channel 4 and the company that made it.’
Although the show is being screened by the broadcaster, it was made by ITV’s production arm, ITV Studios. Last week it was reported that Eubank quit the show because he was not allowed to smoke cannabis on set. Channel 4 insiders said he grew grouchy and left the series voluntarily.
For the duration of Scared Of The Dark, which is hosted by former EastEnders actor Danny Dyer, nine celebrities live in The Bunker, a purpose-built facility in Bedfordshire, which is rigged up with infrared cameras but devoid of any light. The contestants have to complete a series of tasks to stay in the competition.
The two men came to blows after dramatically falling out and had to be separated, in scenes that even fellow contestants described as ‘astonishing’
They are also given the prize of some time in the light if they win challenges, in which production staff trick them by moving objects around in the dark. Former Love Island contestant Chloe Burrows and comedian Chris McCausland also feature in the programme.
A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: ‘All contributors underwent a rigorous mental health screening before being cleared to take part in the show, while extensive welfare measures were in place throughout filming. Cast members were constantly monitored by a mental health practitioner to ensure their wellbeing, with support available to them before, during and after filming.’
They also added that everyone involved in the show was ‘fully mindful’ of Gascoigne’s health history.