He appeared to be just one more dating hopeful as he appeared on ITV1’s Take Me Out last weekend and perhaps he was – but Aaron Withers was also a male escort who pleaded guilty to an assault charge last year. It’s the latest in a series of background check mistakes that are prompting a review.
“We are disappointed that this contestant’s record was not picked up as part of the background checks carried out by [makers] talkbackThames,” said an ITV spokesperson. “We have asked talkbackThames to carry out an immediate review of their procedures.”
Withers, 32, has included himself on an online male escort service website where he charges £50/hour, has “an awesome personality and will never struggle to hold conversation”. But it’s his failing to talk about his assault charge that has caused problems for ITV.
A spokeswoman for talkbackThames said that background checks had been made “in line with industry practice” but Withers’s criminal record had not been uncovered.
Along with Simon Cowell’s company Syco and distributor Freemantle, talkbackThames was also behind the game show Red or Black?, whose winner, Nathan Hageman, was controversially revealed to have a violent past.
A review after that incident caused three further contestants to be dropped from the series.
Take Me Out, presented by Paddy McGuinness, continues on ITV1 on Saturdays