Channel 4 documentary about Jacko's big brother moving to Devon was 'stage-managed with fake scenes'
Last updated at 12:10 AM on 28th January 2010
Even by the bizarre standards of the Jackson clan, it was an unlikely turn of events.
Michael Jackson's elder brother Tito arrived in Devon supposedly
looking to build a UK version of Neverland where the family could live.
Tito and his entourage spent five weeks in a rented house in
Appledore, getting to know the locals and fighting off the attentions
of the paparazzi. And it was all captured on camera for a Channel 4 documentary,
The Jacksons Are Coming.
Meeting the locals: Tito Jackson (L) and Jackie Jackson visit a fish and chip shop in Devon in May 2008
Perhaps viewers should have had suspicions when it emerged that the
programme was made by the production company Studio Lambert, whose boss
resigned from his previous post after footage of the Queen was
infamously doctored for a TV trailer. For according to documents presented to t
he High Court, the whole thing was based on fantasy.
Matt Fiddes, who featured in the programme as the Jacksons' local guide,
claims that Tito never intended to move to Devon.
And he adds that several scenes in the programme were staged for
the viewers' benefit - including two men pretending to be photographers
and being chased off the property.
Mr Fiddes, 30, from
Barnstaple, is suing Channel 4, Studio Lambert and narrator Jane
Preston claiming the whole programme 'was from start to finish a gross
misrepresentation or distortion of the true facts as they occurred'.
Home from home: The house the Jacksons rented in Appledore
He claims that the 'documentary', first shown in November 2008,
libelled him by falsely implying that he betrayed the Jacksons' trust
by leaking stories about them to the media without their agreement.
The case is due to be heard in the High Court today, followed by
a full trial later in the year.
Mr Fiddes, who had acted as one of Michael Jackson's previous bodyguards,
claims he and Tito became close friends.
Tito was in a 'poor financial position' and 'anxious to
resurrect his own personal career as a singer and celebrity, preferably
in the UK'. So he and Mr Fiddes contrived a publicity stunt in which he
revealed he was looking to live in Devon. It was hoped that 'a television show about
this move might generate enough money to put down a deposit on a house in the UK,
probably in London, since it was closer to the music industry'.
Mr Fiddes then helped broker a £20,000 deal with Studio Lambert to cover the five-week visit
by Tito and other family members.
He arranged the rented holiday home in Appledore and appeared in numerous scenes himself.
In a 44-page legal document, he claims Miss Preston 'knowingly
and deliberately manipulated and selected the footage which she had
filmed' to mislead viewers. And he also claims the 'chronology of events' was altered to ' bolster dishonestly'
In one of the early scenes from the programme, two alleged
paparazzi photographers are shown being chased from the grounds by
security. According to Mr Fiddes, this was 'entirely fabricated'. He
says he set it up at the request of Miss Preston, with two men having
to 'pretend that they were paparazzi gaining unauthorised entry to the
premises'. He claims she asked the pair to 'stand at the end of the drive
and simulate taking photographs' and says 'these fictional shots had to
be shot several times before satisfactory footage was obtained'.
The production company's boss Stephen Lambert, 50, is the man
behind the documentaries Wife Swap and Faking It.
He resigned from the production company RDF in 2007 after a
misleading trailer to the documentary A Year With The Queen which
seemingly showed the Queen walking out of a photo shoot with Annie
Leibovitz when she was actually walking into the shot.
Yesterday a spokesman for Channel 4 said: 'We refute the allegations made against us.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1246634/Notorious-Channel-4-documentary-Jackos-big-brother-moving-Devon-stage-managed-fake-scenes.html#ixzz0ds1luUly