A used car dealer in Telford has hit out at his former landlord after claiming he was evicted from his showroom in order to accommodate a Channel 4 show contestant.
When Humbers Car Centre boss Shaun Williams was told by his landlord that he needed to find new premises he was initially understanding.
The owner of the site told him he was planning to sell and therefore required him to vacate, leading Williams to find a new temporary home for his successful business.
However, when a rival used car dealer pitched up at the site, the car salesman of 30 years was left sniffing a ‘stitch up’.
He later found out that the site had been leased to one of his old school friends – Dale Oliver – who is using the site to sell cars as part of a Channel 4 competition show.
Oliver is taking part in the broadcaster’s Double The Money, hosted by Sue Perkins. The show sees competitors receive a small starting pot of seed money, which they have to double in every episode.
As part of an upcoming edition of the show, Oliver and his partner have decided to try and sell used cars, which has seen them take over the recently vacated home of Humbers Car Centre.
The development has infuriated Williams, who has accused his old classmate of using his businesses success to increase his chances of winning big on the show.
He told the Shropshire Star: ‘I’ve spent two years building this business up.
‘When I was asked to leave I was told it was because the landlords would not be able to sell the site with me on it.
I thought fair enough, but then I find out that they have now leased the car lot to Dale and Channel 4.
‘If my business can’t be on there, how come this one can? I feel I have been kicked off just so Dale can win this show.’
He added: ‘Dale is going to be selling cars to my customers. People know this car lot, they know me. I was selling 20 cars a month here.
‘Dale is now on there and he is going to win thousands for being a great car salesman but it will be on my back. I feel like I have been stitched up.’
In response to the claims, both Oliver and the landlord, who wishes to remain anonymous, have both denied any suggestion of a stitch up.
The landlord told the local paper that Williams was not asked to leave the site because of the quiz and the new arrangement was only temporary, due to struggles finding a buyer.
Oliver added: ‘We are not using his company name. We were not even sure we were selling cars until a couple of weeks ago.
‘My partner lives around the corner and saw that the car lot was empty, so we approached the owner.
‘We are like Nicolas Cage in that we’ll be gone in sixty seconds – we are only going to be there for four weeks and we are only selling four to six cars at the maximum.’
A spokesman for Channel 4 said: ‘The programme makers do not have any agreement with the land owner and as such cannot comment on the decisions they make for the use of their land.’