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April 4, 2022

Privacy settlement | Hitchin vs Channel 5

Channel 5 has apologised and agreed to pay a man "substantial damages" for breach of privacy over an episode of Can't Pay? We'll Take it Away!

4/4/22: Channel 5 has apologised and agreed to pay a man “substantial damages” for breach of privacy over an episode of bailiff documentary series Can’t Pay? We’ll Take it Away!

Optometrist Brian Hitchin, 88, sued the channel in November 2021 after he was depicted in an episode of the show broadcast in October 2016. Hitchin, then aged 82, had owed money to a supplier, and High Court Enforcement Agents attended his premises to enforce the debt accompanied by a camera crew.

The crew remained on the premises despite Hitchin’s opposition, and their footage was supplemented with footage from the agents’ bodycams. Law firm Hamlins said the episode featuring Hitchin was broadcast “to over 5.7 million people in a form in which our client’s face was shown, and to an additional 6.2 million viewers in a form in which his face was blurred and his name removed.” High Court statement here.

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