Channel 5 makes public apology to our clients by way of a Statement in Open Court and pays substantial damages for privacy intrusion on the TV show “Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away!”
A joint statement in open court was read on 19 April 2021 before Mrs Justice Collins Rice after Keith Wain and Julie Kelly, both private individuals, accepted an offer of settlement in relation to the misuse of their private information in respect of the filming, making and multiple broadcasts of an episode of the television programme Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away! The couple also received a substantial damages payment, non-repeat undertakings in respect of the broadcast complained of and an agreement to pay their reasonable costs.
The case: Wain & Kelly v Channel 5 Broadcasting Ltd
On 11 May 2017, two High Court Enforcement Agents (HCEAs) attended Mr Wain and Ms Kelly’s home to enforce a debt relating to a sum of money Mr Wain had borrowed from a private individual who had agreed not to press Mr Wain for payment of the sum owed. A film crew was also in attendance. Mr Wain made it clear to the film crew that he did not wish for them to enter his home or for him to be filmed. However, the HCEAs who did enter their home wore bodycams and radio microphones and recorded video and audio footage which was subsequently shown in the programme.
The episode was first broadcast on 6 September 2017, and Channel 5 only ceased broadcasting it in late 2020 once legal proceedings had been issued for misuse of private information. The episode in question was broadcast to over 6.7 million viewers in total. The programme showed Mr Wain and Ms Kelly in their own home in a state of considerable distress and the substantial damages payment which Channel 5 agreed to pay them in settlement of their claim reflects the very serious nature of the privacy intrusion and breach of their Article 8 rights.
Following the reading of the agreed statement, Mrs Justice Collins Rice commented: “I do hope that today’s Statement and the other terms of the settlement will assist Mr Wain and Ms Kelly to draw a line under this clearly upsetting episode.” The Judge added that while the broadcaster worked on a case by case basis to balance privacy and public interest, she suggested there is “perhaps an opportunity here” to consider how the balance is struck and stories are approached.
For other coverage see:
Video content: https://youtu.be/qcPqBEvYIK8
If you think you have a claim against this programme or any other fly on the wall documentary then please contact us. Find out more about Can’t Pay We’ll Take it Away Privacy Claims or contact Alex Cochrane or Chris Hutchings by email.