TV boss caught drink-driving

A HIGH profile television boss has been banned from driving for three years and fined £3,000 after he was caught driving in Suffolk whilst more than four times over the legal alcohol limit.

A HIGH profile television boss has been banned from driving for three years and fined £3,000 after he was caught driving in Suffolk whilst more than four times over the legal alcohol limit.

John Scammell , managing editor of GMTV, pleaded guilty to a charge of drink driving when he appeared at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court yesterday.

The 46-year-old, who lives with his wife and two children in London's Battersea, had 136 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath when he was stopped by police along the A11 at Barton Mills on Christmas Eve last year.

Prosecutor Nicky Miller said Scammell, who has worked for GMTV for the past 21 years, was seen driving 40mph along the 70mph carriageway, and was serving across the white lines.


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Defence solicitor Paul Booty said that, because of the time of year, his client had attended a lot of dinners and lunches, and probably still had residual alcohol in his system.

District Judge David Cooper said it was a high alcohol reading, and also ordered Scammell to pay £60 towards court costs, and attend a drink driving rehabilitation course.

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GMTV (Good Morning Television) has held the licence for the breakfast TV since 1993, when it outbid the previous licence holder, TV-am.

The station, which claims to have the highest breakfast-time audience in Europe and reaches around 13 million viewers a week, transmits daily from 6am until 9.25am.

In 2005, anchor presenter Eamonn Holmes decided not to renew his contract because he considered GMTV to be “celebrity-oriented”, and stated the channel did not broadcast sufficient news and current affairs output. He also allegedly disagreed with how the directors ran the programmes.

lisa.cleverdon@eadt.co.uk

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