T.V. “phone in” shows come under scrutiny from Department of Culture Media and Sport, and may be re-

In a recent flurry of adverse publicity, the genre of TV show which is based on audience participation through live, on-show phone calls has put itself on the regulatory radar screen of Secretary of State Tessa Jowell.

These programs enable viewers to phone in to live shows using premium priced phone lines, and win prizes based on  participation in a variety of games and competitions.

Allegations of  unfairness or outright fraud in the way these games have been administered vary from inviting the public to participate in a chance to win prizes that have already been awarded, “live” phone-ins to programs that have been pre-recorded, and studio staff posing as “prize winners”.

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