French reality TV show cancelled after contestant commits suicide

Posted Jul 7, 2010 by Johnny Summerton
A French television channel has cancelled the airing of a new reality show following the death of one of the candidates.
Trompe-Moi si tu peux - screenshot from programme trailer.
Trompe-Moi si tu peux - screenshot from programme trailer.
"Trompe-Moi si tu peux" (Cheat on me if you can) had been due to begin airing on the national commercial channel M6 later this week.
But on Tuesday the station issued a short statement on its website saying the programme would be withdrawn from its schedule after the death of one of the candidates.
Although the cause of death was not given "out of respect for the family" reports soon emerged in the French media that the candidate, 32-year-old Jean-Pierre, had committed suicide.
The monthly showbiz and gossip monthly Entrevue was the first to break the news reporting that Jean-Pierre had hanged himself at his apartment after leaving a message on his mobile 'phone in which he blamed his former boyfriend Hakim for his decision to take his life.
The pair had taken part in "Trompe-Moi si tu peux", shot in the Dominican Republic in April, along with what the production company said were nine other "real couples".
Speaking on national radio Matthieu Bayle, the programme's producer, said there was no link between what had happened and Jean-Pierre's participation in the show.
"We were very close to Jean-Pierre during the shoot and we're devastated by the news" he said.
"On the 'phone just last week, Jean-Pierre said how he eager was to finally see the show," he added, insisting that the contestant's death had been a "personal tragedy".
The concept of "Trompe-Moi si tu peux" was for each contestant to hide the identity of their real partner from the rest of those taking part with the winning pair walking off €39,000 richer.
At the beginning of each episode everyone was assigned a new partner and together they had to try to convince the others that they were a real pair through a series of intimate games designed to "incite the jealousy of the true partner" as the national daily Le Parisien-Aujourd'hui en France described it.
Every time the identity of a real couple was revealed they would be eliminated from the game.
M6 had scheduled the programme to compete head-to-head with another reality TV show, "Secret Story", which returns for its fourth season on France's largest commercial channel TF1 on Friday evening.
Instead, as Bayle told Europe 1 national radio, the show would never be broadcast.