The 1% Club contestant hits out at cheating claims after suspicious ‘signal’

An ITV game show contestant has responded to claims of cheating.

Jason Duckett appeared on the latest episode of The 1% Club, which is hosted by Lee Mack and has become a Saturday night favourite among audiences since it started in 2022,

The series, which recently prompted confusion with one of its questions, sees 100 members of the public whittled down throughout each episode after answering questions, ranked in difficulty by what percentage of the nation had got the question right.

Competitors start the game with £1,000 each, which is then re-distributed into the prize pot when they answer a question incorrectly.

At the end of the episode, the remaining contestants are asked a question that just one per cent of the nation got right – and if they answer it correctly, they win a share of up to £100,000.

It was after the 20 per cent question asked in the latest episode, which aired on Saturday (25 May), that led many viewers to wonder whether one contestant had been cheating, with Jason Duckkett accused of rubbing his ears to signal the correct answer.

Duckett appeared on the show with his wife Rowena, who was also competing for money. When Mack asked: “To which body part can you add one letter at the start to make it the word for the job it does,” the answer of which was “ear”, viewers thought they picked up on Duckett rubbing his ear lobes to signal the correct answer to his wife.

Jason Duckett has denied claims he cheated on ‘The 1% Club’ (ITV)
Jason Duckett has denied claims he cheated on ‘The 1% Club’ (ITV)

“Ear ear . . . think there was a wee bit of cheating going on in 1% Club,” one viewer wrote, with another adding: “Bit naughty from Mr Duckett there rubbing his ear.”

The contestant has now denied claims of cheating, highlighting that the pair had already been eliminated when the question was asked.

“I almost admire the creativity of someone to come up with that because I hadn’t thought of that,” Duckett told The Sun, adding: “There was nothing to gain for either of us. We were both out. Anything I was doing, it was to just sort of calm myself.”

It comes after a man who won £99,000 on The 1% Club revealed he managed to keep his prize secret from his family for almost a year.

Daniel O’Halloran, who was a contestant on the show in July 2022, was given the choice to take home £10,000 or gamble one more question to win the jackpot of £99,000.

The 24-year-old ended up taking the risk and won £99,000, only £1,000 less than the top prize of £100,000.

O’Halloran kept his prize money a secret from his parents until the show aired almost a year later in May 2023.

“I always said I would take home the £10,000 if I got to the end,” he told The Chester Standard.

“For the last nine months, my family had thought I’d taken the £10,000 because I wouldn’t have been able to keep a whole secret.”

He continued: “We all watched it together and when I said I would take on the question they were just going nuts. It was just the best thing because it’s been difficult not telling them all.”