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Rich contestants give away cash in new TV show

Written by: Staff

LONDON, Oct 24 (Reuters) A new reality television series will feature wealthy contestants living incognito for 10 days and then giving away up to 50,000 pounds of their own money to deserving causes.

''Secret Millionaire'' is the latest offering from RDF, makers of the hugely successful ''Wife Swap'' programmes.

The series, commissioned by Channel 4 and due to be aired at the end of November, will feature wealthy individuals living on the breadline, either on benefits or doing menial jobs.

During their time living and working in deprived areas of the country, they will have to consider which person or group is worthy of their largesse.

Channel 4 said five programmes had been made.

To allay suspicion, local communities were told the contestants were taking part in a show about the rural poor being transposed to live as urban poor.

''Secret Millionaire'' will also show whether the initial values and views of the contestants change during their time living as paupers.

Although critics of reality shows complain the format is tired and that contestants are becoming increasingly bizarre to retain viewer interest, audience figures remain strong.

A genre that was barely known before the 1990s now dominates TV schedules and has made stars of people like Jade Goody from ''Big Brother'' and Lizzie Bardsley from ''Wife Swap.'' REUTERS PDS RAI0413

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