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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 January, 2005, 10:12 GMT
US show sued for rat-eating stunt
A rat
Past shows included contestants eating spiders and worms
A US TV network is being sued for $2.5m (1.3m) by a viewer who says he was disgusted by watching contestants eat dead rats in a stunt show.

Austin Aitken is taking action against NBC over its programme Fear Factor.

He said watching the show caused his blood pressure to rise so high that he became dizzy and light-headed.

The legal assistant said NBC was "sending the wrong message to viewers that cash can make or have people do just about anything beyond reasoning".

The hand-written, four-page lawsuit said: "To have the individuals on the show eat and drink dead rats was crazy and from a viewer's point of view made me throw-up as well as another in the house at the same time."

Mr Aitken, who lives in Cleveland, said that after becoming light-headed, he ran towards the bedroom and knocked his head in a doorway.

A spokesman for NBC said it had no comment on the lawsuit, but confirmed the stunt show did feature a rat-eating scene in New York's Times Square on 8 November.

Past shows have featured viewers eating spiders and live worms.

The programme has been screened in the UK on Sky One.

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