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Crawley businessman 'exposed' on national TV

By This is Sussex  |  Posted: March 11, 2009

Colin Wells

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AN AIRPORT parking company has been exposed on national TV -and so has its owner's finely-honed torso.

It wasn't just bad practice uncovered in BBC One's Rogue Traders last week when presenter Matt Allwright caught Ace Parking owner cum stripper, Colin Wells, in the act.

The sneaky team set up Mr Wells, by confronting him about their findings while the shocked, scantily-clad businessman thought he was entertaining a hen party.

The programme, aired last Thursday, revealed customer's cars were being speedily driven to un-secure car parks by the Manor Royal meet and greet drivers and left overnight.

The undercover BBC team left three cars in the care of ACE Parking UK, based on the Gatwick Road.

Hidden camera footage then revealed the cars were parked in un-secure car parks contrary to the company's promise, including a site where 19 cars were targeted by arsonists last October.

At least two of the cars, an Audi A3 and an Audi TT, were driven well above the speed limit, one reaching 86mph on a 50mph road.

ACE owner Mr Wells, who is also a professional stripper, says he "took his eye of the ball for a while".

But now he claims to have turned over a new leaf, by purchasing speed guns for the cars and sacking drivers caught speeding on the show.

Mr Wells told the News: "I work very hard running my business and last year it expanded dramatically, so I took on more car parking spaces at Crawley Goods Yard shown in the programme.

"I pay thousands of pounds for the car parks, which are all licensed, and I was promised secure parking for the extra spaces but as the show proved, they weren't, so I took drastic action and reduced the number of spaces again."

He added: "There were clearly issues with the business that needed looking at and I've learned a valuable lesson from all this."

Despite not having an issue with the problems highlighted on the show, Mr Wells admits he was not happy with the way he was exposed.

This involved him stripping at a mock 'hen' party while dressed in a tight-fitting Superman T-shirt.

Presenter Matt Allwright interrupted the routine halfway through, to confront Mr Wells about the programme's findings.

He said: "I know they wanted to create good viewing but I thought getting me to do a striptease in order to interview me was just an attempt to discredit me as a company director.

"And they didn't even pay me!

"Stripping is something I do but I keep it very separate from my business.

"At the end of the year I'll be hanging up my g-string anyway." Rogue Traders, which is shown at prime-time on BBC1, aims to expose shoddy businesses or services through the use of hidden cameras and sting operations.

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