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Wednesday, 18 July, 2001, 18:16 GMT 19:16 UK
Star consults lawyers over TV spoof
Phil Collins
Phil Collins warned against strangers
Popstar Phil Collins is taking legal advice after he was tricked into appearing on the comedy show Brass Eye to lend his support for a hoax anti-paedophile campaign.

The episode of the controversial series was originally pulled by Channel 4 but will now be shown on 26 July.

I think the presenters of this programme have some serious taste problems

Phil Collins
In it, former Genesis member Collins is seen wearing a T-shirt with the words Nonce Sense, and he warns children against speaking to suspicious people.

Other celebrities fooled into appearing on the comedy show include TV presenters Richard Blackwood and Kate Thornton and radio DJ Dr Fox.

'Good faith'

Brass Eye, fronted by Chris Morris, has fallen foul of broadcasters in the past and previous shows have had their transmission delayed.

In a statement, Collins said: "I took part in the programme as I was very firmly led to believe it was part of a public service programme that would be going around schools and colleges in a bid to stem child abduction and abuse."

He added: "I think the presenters of this programme have some serious taste problems when it comes to picking subjects from parody.

"I did this in good faith for the public benefit but unfortunately this will probably now affect many celebrities' willingness to support public spirited causes in the future and it's not difficult to see why."

'Sick issue'

Richard Blackwood admitted he had fallen for the hoax but added: "Well I guess the joke is on us and also on every other charity working in the field of child protection.

"If you think that kiddie porn is funny you should have a good laugh."

Capital FM DJ, Dr Fox said the subject matter was inappropriate for a comedy programme.

"I have been had and it was well done, it is just a shame it had to be about such a sick issue," he said.

But a spokesman for Channel 4 said: "Chris Morris's Brass Eye Special is a powerful satire on the way the media exploits and sensationalises the subject of paedophilia.

"It is a programme that is both humorous and directed to make a serious point."

See also:

22 Mar 01 | TV and Radio
Serial killer spoof to be screened
12 Sep 00 | Entertainment
New baby for Phil Collins
19 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Court victory for Collins
19 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Taking Collins seriously
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