Simon Cowell game show winner reveals criminal past

Nathan Hageman, the man who became the first winner of ITV’s Red or Black? on Saturday, has revealed he served two and a half years in prison for ABH.

Nathan Hageman spent two-and-a-half years in jail after attacking his ex-girlfriend’s partner following an argument.

Simon Cowell ... 'I think the money will make a big difference to Nathan and his family'

£1m Red Or Black winner Nathan Hageman and Simon Cowell

The 31-year-old bricklayer, who beat 1,000 other contestants on Red Or Black hosted by Ant and Dec, yesterday blamed the incident on his troubled upbringing.

He claimed his parents had divorced when he was just 11 years old and he had been forced to live rough on the streets with his father.

He said: “It’s no excuse and I take full responsibility for what happened. I was an idiot.

“I’d split up with my girlfriend and started seeing someone else, but we had chatted a few times. When her boyfriend found out, he started threatening me.

“I called the police but they said they could not do anything until something happens. Well, obviously it’s too late by the time something’s happened. I made a mistake and took the law into my own hands and assaulted him.”

Talking about his time in jail, he added: “I’d never been in prison before but I thought, “I have to use this time to my advantage”. I’ve tried hard to turn my life around and I’ve had a steady job.

“Now I’ve got a chance to make a success of myself, but it’s only life-changing if I make it life-changing. I want to invest wisely and hopefully make a couple more million. I don’t want to be like some of the lottery winners who squander their money.”

Mr Hageman, from Reading, Berkshire, won the cash prize on Saturday after making it through nine rounds on Red Or Black, the most expensive game show in television history.

Standing over a giant roulette wheel he correctly predicted the ball would land on red to win the jackpot.

Nathan Hageman with his girlfriend Jane Makepeace

Earlier he had told Ant and Dec that he had been helping to support his mother, sister and seven-year-old niece since his father had died several years ago.

He said: “My parents got divorced when I was 11 and my dad took it really badly. I took it upon myself to live with him as he was on his own.

“Often, we ended up on the streets. We struggled for food and sometimes slept under vans to get out of the rain.

“My education suffered very badly. I wasn’t going to school and ultimately I didn’t take my exams.”

Mr Hageman, who has now quit his job as a bricklayer was released from prison in 2009.

Yesterday, he added: “It still hasn’t sunk in. But I’m going to give my mother the retirement she deserves. She’s 62 and struggled all her life.

“Lately she has been working as a cleaner doing back-breaking jobs and earning £30 a day. Now she doesn’t have to do that any more.”

Last night ITV said that it was within its guidelines for Mr Hageman to appear on the game show, despite his criminal past.

A spokesman said: “Background checks were conducted on all contestants participating in the live shows. We were aware that Nathan has served a two-and-a-half year sentence in prison.”

Nathan win £1m on the very first episode of Red or Black Video

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