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Male stripper who won £70,000 on game shows says he ‘blagged’ his way to the final round of The Weakest Link by following other contestants to the toilets and making ‘secret’ pacts not to vote each other off


A male stripper who won £70,000 on game shows claims he ‘blagged’ his way to the final round of The Weakest Link by colluding with contestants.

Mike Stratton, 55, pocketed tens of thousands of pounds in cash and prizes after getting onto 18 TV quizzes including Bullseye, Decimate and Fear Factor.

And after trying for a baby for eight years with wife Donna Stratton, 52, he even used £10,000 of his winning to pay for IVF treatment, helping him have three children.

But the crafty father has now divulged how he got down to the last two on The Weakest Link, claiming he persuaded unsuspecting players not to vote him off.

Mike said before the show began filming, he followed individual contestants to the studio’s toilets where they made ‘secret’ pacts not to evict each other.

He allegedly went on to speak to seven out of the nine participants without any of them realising they were part of his master plan.

Mike Stratton divulged how he got down to the last two on The Weakest Link, claiming he persuaded unsuspecting players not to vote him off

Mike Stratton divulged how he got down to the last two on The Weakest Link, claiming he persuaded unsuspecting players not to vote him off

Mike Stratton, 55, watching himself on the show Decimate at home in Wigan

Mike Stratton, 55, watching himself on the show Decimate at home in Wigan

Mike Stratton (far right) on the set of Fear Factor TV quiz - in Argentina

Mike Stratton (far right) on the set of Fear Factor TV quiz – in Argentina

Mike said several disgruntled contestants, who’d been culled from the quiz, noticed he’d stitched them up while waiting for the show to end in the green room.

He claimed: ‘I cheated on The Weakest Link. Every time somebody left the room, I went with them.

‘I’d say something like, ‘I tell you what, they’re going to vote me and you off straight away, aren’t they?’.

‘So I said, ‘I won’t vote for you and you won’t vote for me, yeah?’ And I did that all day.

‘By the time it came to film the show, there were only two people who I hadn’t done it to.

‘My name never got mentioned until there were three of us left: Me, a girl, and this really clever guy.

‘And I looked at the girl, and I said ‘Me and you in the final?’ and she said, ‘Yep,’ and we voted this guy off.

‘One of the guys in the green room said, ‘You hear what he said then? He said before to me if I didn’t vote for him, he wouldn’t vote for me.’ Another said the same thing.’

He added: ‘You’re allowed to collude with other people, you see, there’s nothing against it in the rules.

‘It’s just I did it with everybody, so everybody was annoyed with me.’

He has now written a book, which is available on Amazon, all about his experiences

He has now written a book, which is available on Amazon, all about his experiences

Mike said he first got ‘hooked’ on quizzes when his wife gave him a flyer for a game show called ‘Greed’, hosted by Jerry Springer, in 2001.

The advert was sent to his family’s sunbed shop, in Wigan, Greater Manchester, where he worked while also touring Europe with his male stripper troupe called The X-men.

Mike said he used his charisma and unusual job title to get onto the programme and was shocked when he walked away with £10,000 during his short appearance.

That led him to start applying to more game shows where he felt he could turn a healthy profit in a matter of minutes.

He said: ‘I bought a new car for my wife with that money, and we went on holiday to Gran Canaria.

‘And once I’d been on the one, I started applying for more. Because my job is quite interesting, I ran my own strip group, I just got on more and more.’

Mike said in 2004 he appeared on both The National Lottery: In It to Win It and The Weakest Link, where he embarked on his crafty plot.

While the most money he’s ever won was £15,000 on Are You Smarter Than A 10 Year Old, where players answer primary school textbook questions, in 2008.

But the dad, who admits he’s not a ‘general knowledge geek’, said he has deliberately picked shows that aren’t too difficult to win as part of his strategy.

Mike appearing on an episode of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Mike appearing on an episode of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Mike said: ‘The Chase is all right, but it’s too hard to win money on. But Beat The Chasers – that’s a good one to go on.

‘You can get on there for five minutes, ten minutes, not be too greedy and walk away with £15,000 to £20,000.’

Mike views his winnings as ‘treat money’ and has spent it on a variety of purchases, including laser eye surgery and IVF treatment that helped his wife fall pregnant.

After he bought four rounds of the fertility treatment, between 2007 and 2011, he was able to have his daughter, Sophie, now 16, and twins, Alex and Daniel, now 11.

Mike added: ‘After so long trying, you never think it’s going to happen. You can imagine the months when it hasn’t happened and the tears – and that was just me.

‘But it’s just another example of how the game shows have changed my life. I never thought we’d be able to have as many goes as we did.’

He has now written a book, which is available on Amazon, all about his experiences entitled ‘How to Get on Game Shows and Win £1000s’.

Mike said the key to bagging a spot on popular TV quizzes is to present yourself as an outgoing candidate.

He said: ‘What the game shows are looking for are people that are going to be lively on camera and not just give one-word answers.

‘If you can be lively and entertaining all the better.’

Some of the hit game shows Mike has been on include: Greed, The Weakest Link, National Lottery: In It To Win It, Fear Factor, 24 Hour Quiz, Perseverance, Beg Borrow or Steal, It’s Not What You Know, Bullseye, Identity, Duel, Are You Smarter Than a Ten-Year-Old?, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Decimate, Freeze Out.

MailOnline has contacted the BBC for comment.  



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