Big Brother snub for businessman

A BUSINESSMAN has spoken of his hurt at being given the Big Brother boot just days before he was expecting to enter the house to raise money for charity.

Thursday, 10th June 2010, 4:27 pm

Mohammed Faraz, 29, was removed from a shortlist of candidates after telling Cancer Research UK that he would be donating half his prize money to the good cause. He planned on gifting the remaining money to the Islamic Relief Fund charity.

He believes that his honesty cost him a place in show, which began on Wednesday.

His odyssey began nine months ago when an employee at his marketing business Fast Track Solutions, in Liversedge, put his name forward to the show's producers.

On January 15, Mohammed met production staff during a fast-track audition in Manchester and confidently told them he was going to win the series.

"The first stage was an audition where they asked me random questions about myself, what I would do with the money. I told them straight away I would donate my winnings to charity," he said.

Mohammed, of Victoria Street, Heckmondwike, filled in a 90 page application form that delved deeply into his personal and professional life. He gave full disclosure over a criminal conviction for a minor role in the Bradford Riots in 2001, resulting in a short prison sentence.

Despite this, the entrepeneur breezed through the lengthy audition process, travelling to London to meet the producers, filling out reams of paperwork and filming his own introductory video.

"They told me 'congratulations' and they sent me a contract in March," he said.

In April he told Cancer Research UK that he would be going on a 'Channel 4 reality show' and the charity contacted the producers - who 'read him the riot act for spilling the beans'.

He claims he was told last month he would be entering the house and went on a spending spree, buying nearly 2,000 worth of cosmetics and clothing under instructions from the show.

He said: "A producer called me again last Wednesday and told me not to speak to anyone. Then on Thursday they sent me travel plans to go down to London.

"I was due to meet the other housemates and get taken to a hideout for two days.

"Then, I was told on Friday that I was disqualified. At first, I thought it was a prank.

"I was going to sacrifice a lot for the chance to raise money for two good causes. I was not doing it for myself, I don't really need the money.

"I was upset because I felt I had let both charities down."

Mohammed now plans to sue Remarkable Television, part of Endemol UK, for costs incurred during his audition process. He plans to give any compensation to the two charities.

Channel 4 said it could not confirm why Mohammed was removed from the list for legal reasons, however a spokeswoman confirmed he had been part of the shortlist.

She said: "Big Brother's decision who to shortlist is based on many factors including medical, psychological, police and background checks and of course personality.

"Big Brother's track record on diversity speaks for itself. There is no question of any candidate being declined on the grounds of race or religious beliefs."