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‘You try getting guests to Norfolk’ - Matthew Wright recalls filming for Anglia

PUBLISHED: 13:22 03 July 2018

The Wright Stuff - Matthew Wright (C) Channel 5

The Wright Stuff - Matthew Wright (C) Channel 5

Channel 5

Matthew Wright - who quit his daytime Channel 5 show last month - has remembered the days when the programme was produced in Norwich and the audience included substance users paid £5 a day to be in the audience. Happy days.

TV presenter Matthew Wright has recalled his days in Norwich when he said his live studio audience included those from “the city’s modest collection of heroin addicts”.

Wright, who quit his Channel 5 weekday current affairs programme The Wright Stuff last month, remembered the early days of the show in Norfolk.

Before it was based in London, The Wright Stuff was made by Anglia in Norwich.

“That was hard,” Wright recalled, “you try getting guests to Norfolk.”

The studio audience, were, famously, offered £5 a day to turn up: “The Citizens Advice Bureau put the word out to the city’s modest collection of heroin addicts,” Wright remembers. “One of them, Gary, he was trying so hard to get clean, but he’d come into the studio and basically gouch out live on TV. Day after day!”

Wright made his name as the Mirror’s showbiz editor, ghost wrote Martine McCutcheon’s autobiography, set up MyKindaPlace for teens online and launched The Wright Stuff in September 2000, a weekday show which debated the topics of the day.

Classic moments on the show have included David Van Day airing the dirty laundry about his relationship with a journalist and dumping her live on air (“You’ve been dumped, live on air, you’ve been dumped. Celebrity dumping”), ‘Jason from Derbyshire’ admitting having an affair with his friend’s wife in somewhat fruity terms, a full-scale row with a pensioner on the phone, a call from George Michael to refute claims that he’d broken up with Kenny Goss, his partner of 15 years (“I watched you every morning in the nick,” he told him), Iain Lee storming off after refusing to answer questions about his marriage break-up and an on-screen meltdown about traffic when Wright screamed at the windows “shut up down there with that lorry! I am sick of your beeping ways!”

Announcing his departure in May, he said in statement: “After almost 18 glorious years on Channel 5 and with the show flying high in the ratings, I feel it’s time to depart.”

Jeremy Vine begins as the presenter of Channel 5’s new daily current affairs programme in September, with the show being given a new name (On The Vine? Heard it on the Jeremy Vine? Jez Sez? The possibilities are endless).


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