Two firms have been fined a total of £18,000 after asbestos was found during filming of BBC series Fame Academy.
Asbestos was found at Fame Academy's north London base
Producers Endemol and property manager Foilhope admitted breaching safety regulations by exposing asbestos while filming at the show's London base.
Government safety inspector Emma Brown said site workers were "needlessly exposed" to asbestos in 2002 and 2003.
But no Fame Academy participants were believed to have been exposed to the potentially fatal substance.
Asbestos was exposed as cables were laid in the basement of the Fame Academy house in Highgate, north London.
Workers and participants risked exposure to the substance as the show's first series was being filmed, from August 2002 until February 2003.
"This case highlights the importance of managing the risk from asbestos," said Ms Brown.
At least 3,500 people die in Britain each year from mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer as a result of past exposure to asbestos.
Actor Will Mellor won a celebrity version of Fame Academy in 2003
"The case also highlights the financial cost to companies of not acting to manage asbestos," said Ms Brown.
"Endemol was required to spend £175,000 decontaminating the basement of the building."
The production company was also ordered to pay costs of £3,611 by City of London Magistrates' Court, while Foilhope's costs amounted to £2,517.
Two series of Fame Academy have been made for the BBC, won by David Sneddon and Alex Parks respectively. A celebrity Comic Relief version was won in March 2003 by actor Will Mellor.