Chris Eubank and Paul Gascoigne “hit” during the filming of a show in which they have to live in complete darkness for a week. The staff wonder why Channel 4 allowed the troubled footballer to participate?
Putting two fleeting characters like Paul Gascoigne and Chris Eubank in a dark room together sounds like a recipe for disaster.
So perhaps the producers behind Channel 4’s new reality show Scared Of The Dark – which saw the couple live in a pitch-black bunker with other celebrities for eight days – should have anticipated the explosive result.
The two men got beat up after a dramatic altercation and had to be separated in scenes that even fellow contestants described as “amazing.”
Gascoigne and Eubank’s fellow contestants, including TV presenter Scarlett Moffatt, retired boxer Nicola Adams and singer and Strictly star Max George, were shocked by the punch-up, which forced producers to intervene.
Sources on the show have expressed surprise that Gascoigne – better known as Gazza – was allowed to participate given his past mental health issues.
The contenders: Line-up for new Channel 4’s Scared Of The Dark, from left to right, actress Donna Preston, ex-boxer Nicola Adams, reality star Chloe Burrows, Chris Eubank, show host Danny Dyer, Paul Gascoigne, comedian Chris McCausland , singer Max George and TV star Scarlett Moffatt
In addition to his well-documented problem with alcohol addiction, the former England footballer, 55, has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder and bulimia.
Eccentric former boxer Eubank, 56, is no stranger to being controversial himself with a string of driving-related convictions. He later quit the show midway through the production schedule.
A source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The fact that Gazza and Chris went to blows the way they did definitely proves that bosses should have been more careful with their selection processes.
“The dropout was huge. They literally couldn’t stand each other and the other celebs were literally baffled at the level of the line.
“They’ve all been talking about it for weeks.
“We’ve seen fights over reality shows for years, but this is something else. The show tested even the calmest of people, so this was always going to be hard for Gazza. It all seems very irresponsible from both Channel 4 and the company that made it.’
Although the show is shown by the broadcaster, it was created by ITV’s production arm, ITV Studios. Last week it was reported that Eubank quit the show because he was not allowed to smoke cannabis on set. Channel 4 insiders said he became moody and voluntarily left the series.
For the duration of Scared Of The Dark, hosted by former EastEnders actor Danny Dyer, nine celebrities live in The Bunker, a purpose-built facility in Bedfordshire, rigged with infrared cameras but without any lights. The contestants must complete a series of tasks to stay in the competition.
The two men came to blows after a dramatic altercation and had to be separated, in scenes that even fellow contestants described as “amazing.”
They also get the prize of some time in the light if they win challenges, where production workers trick them into moving objects in the dark. Former Love Island contestant Chloe Burrows and comedian Chris McCausland also star in the program.
A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: ‘All contributors underwent rigorous mental health screening before being allowed to take part in the show, while extensive welfare measures were in place during filming. Cast members were constantly monitored by a psychiatrist to ensure their well-being, with support available to them before, during and after filming.”
They also added that everyone involved with the show was “fully aware” of Gascoigne’s health history.