‘The Royle Family’ actor Ricky Tomlinson has sensationally claimed that the late ‘Countdown’ presenter Richard Whiteley was once an undercover government spy who helped send him to prison for two years back in the 1970s.

Before he found fame with televisual roles on the BBC’s ‘The Royle Family’ and soap opera ‘Brookside’, Tomlinson was a plasterer and active trade unionist, who helped organise the first national building workers’ strike.

In 1973, he and his trade union colleague Des Warren, known as ‘The Shrewsbury Two’, were found guilty of “conspiracy to intimidate” and Tomlinson received a two-year sentence in prison.

Ricky TomlinsonRicky Tomlinson claims Richard Whiteley was a undercover government spy

Now, in 2017, Tomlinson has claimed that a TV documentary fronted by Whiteley (who passed away in 2005) and the late politician Woodrow Wyatt at the time had a significant role in sending him down.

Speaking to the Chester Chronicle on Wednesday (March 1st) while opening a new Wetherspoons pub in the city, the 77 year old actor said: “I’ve got documents at home, which are printed ‘confidential’, ‘strictly confidential’, ‘not to be seen’, but it involves the likes of Ted Heath, Woodrow Wyatt.”

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“We’ve just discovered that they made a film which went out on television the night the jury were out considering the verdict called ‘Red Under The Bed’, and it was so anti-trade union that two of the jury changed their mind and brought a majority verdict in of 10-2 guilty.”

He added: “We found out this week that the film was designed, written, made and paid for by the security services. Woodrow Wyatt was a member of the security services and unbelievably so was Richard Whiteley who hosted the show. Richard Whiteley from ‘Countdown’ was a member of the intelligence services.”

Well, make of that what you will!

Bradford-born Whiteley joined ITN in 1967, before joining Yorkshire Television the following year as a presenter. He joined ‘Countdown’ on Channel 4 in 1982, never missing an episode for 23 years until his death in 2005.

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