Entertainment

Married At First Sight scandal that’ll shock British viewers: Actors exposed

The sixth season of Married At First Sight is garnering plenty of attention in Britain, two years after first hitting screens in Australia.

But viewers watching the drama unfold on E4 may not be aware of a scandal that engulfed the show when it was initially broadcast in early 2019.

At the time, Daily Mail Australia revealed how a handful of contestants – including Sam Ball, Tamara Joy and Melissa Lucarelli – were part-time actors, having appeared in movies, reality shows and even McDonald’s adverts.

The exposé raised questions about the integrity of the social experiment, fuelling rumours the reality series was somehow ‘fake’ or ‘staged’. 

The Married At First Sight scandal that will shock British viewers: How eight cast members, including Sam Ball, were exposed as ‘secret actors’ when the show first aired in Australia 2019

At the time, Channel Nine and production company Endemol Shine responded with strongly worded statements defending the show and its casting decisions. 

Executive producer John Walsh told 9Honey Celebrity that while the network was aware that some of the participants had been actors or models in the past, they were not ‘hired’ to perform on the show.

He added: ‘The suggestion that any of them were hired as performers to appear on Married At First Sight is categorically untrue.’

Another EP, Tara McWilliams, dismissed the speculation as ‘ridiculous’, saying: ‘The brides and grooms are not hired actors. They are not given scripts or lines to recite.’

Exposé: At the time, Daily Mail Australia revealed how a handful of contestants - including Sam Ball, Tamara Joy and Billy Vincent (pictured) - were part-time actors, having appeared in movies, reality shows and even McDonald's adverts

Exposé: At the time, Daily Mail Australia revealed how a handful of contestants – including Sam Ball, Tamara Joy and Billy Vincent (pictured) – were part-time actors, having appeared in movies, reality shows and even McDonald’s adverts 

Despite being billed as a ‘barista’ on the show, 30-year-old Billy Vincent was actually a model and part-time actor at the time he was cast.

His biggest role up until that point was playing the lead in a McDonald’s advert, which aired across Australia in 2012.

In the commercial, Billy played a shirtless surfer struggling to find cash. 

Who knew! Despite being billed as a 'barista' on the show, 30-year-old Billy Vincent is actually a model and part-time actor. Pictured in a 2012 McDonald's ad

Brush with fame: His biggest role up until that point was playing the lead in a McDonald's advert, which aired across Australia in 2012. In the commercial, Billy played a shirtless surfer struggling to find cash

Who knew! Despite being billed as a ‘barista’ on the show, 30-year-old Billy Vincent was actually a model and part-time actor at the time he was cast. Pictured in a 2012 McDonald’s ad

Billy’s ‘wife’ Susie Bradley, 27, was also no stranger to being in front of the camera.

In January 2019, the mother of one starred in an advert for Queensland-based fitness company Peptides Direct.

In the promotional film, Susie was shown in bed wearing racy lingerie alongside a tattooed gentleman who played her boyfriend. 

Busting out! Susie Bradley, 27, starred in an advert for a fitness company in January 2019

Busting out! Susie Bradley, 27, starred in an advert for a fitness company in January 2019

Will she win a BAFTA? In the promotional film, Susie was shown in bed wearing racy lingerie alongside a tattooed gentleman who played her boyfriend

Will she win a BAFTA? In the promotional film, Susie was shown in bed wearing racy lingerie alongside a tattooed gentleman who played her boyfriend

Tamara Joy likewise was a budding actress when she joined MAFS.

The human resources manager-turned-influencer, 31, had a StarNow profile at the time listing herself as an ‘actor, extra and model’.

She also used a stage name on Married At First Sight – and continues to do so to this day – with her real name being Tamara Laing.

Hmm! Tamara Joy likewise was a budding actress when she joined MAFS. The HR manager-turned-influencer, 31, had a StarNow profile at the time listing herself as an 'actor and model'

Hmm! Tamara Joy likewise was a budding actress when she joined MAFS. The HR manager-turned-influencer, 31, had a StarNow profile at the time listing herself as an ‘actor and model’

How professional! She also used a stage name on Married At First Sight - and continues to do so to this day - with her real name being Tamara Laing. Pictured on the show

How professional! She also used a stage name on Married At First Sight – and continues to do so to this day – with her real name being Tamara Laing. Pictured on the show

Dino Hira, 36, was perhaps his season’s most accomplished screen talent.

After spending several years as a small-time actor in various productions, he appeared in the Australian movie Eleven Days in 2018.

In May 2018, just four months before filming his MAFS wedding, Dino boasted of his passion for acting on Instagram.

He wrote: ‘When the director says “Action!” I get a thrill in the feeling that it is my chance to forget my own past or my future and embrace living in the character I play!’ 

Secret past! In May 2018, just four months before filming his MAFS wedding, Dino Hira boasted of his passion for acting on Instagram. Pictured behind the scenes of an unknown film project

Secret past! In May 2018, just four months before filming his MAFS wedding, Dino Hira boasted of his passion for acting on Instagram. Pictured behind the scenes of an unknown film project

A versatile actor! Dino also starred in an advertisement for a razor brand in the past

A versatile actor! Dino also starred in an advertisement for a razor brand in the past

Dino, who was billed as a ‘meditation coach’ on MAFS, also featured in a campaign for prescription glasses company Speqs in 2017 with his co-star Jessika Power. 

His ex-‘wife’ Melissa Lucarelli happened to be an aspiring actress, too.

In addition to her day job as a talent agent, the 40-year-old had previously starred as an extra in Home and Away.

At the time, an IMDB page under Melissa’s name listed an upcoming role in an Australian production titled The Script of Life.

Surprise! Dino, who was billed as a 'meditation coach' on MAFS, also featured in a campaign for prescription glasses company Speqs in 2017 with his co-star Jessika Power

Surprise! Dino, who was billed as a ‘meditation coach’ on MAFS, also featured in a campaign for prescription glasses company Speqs in 2017 with his co-star Jessika Power

Busted! Dino's ex-'wife' Melissa Lucarelli happened to be an actress, too

Career: In addition to her day job as a talent agent, the 40-year-old had previously starred as an extra in Home and Away

Busted! Dino’s ex-‘wife’ Melissa Lucarelli happened to be an actress, too. In addition to her day job as a talent agent, the 40-year-old had previously starred as an extra in Home and Away

Of course, Melissa wasn’t the only Married At First Sight star to have made an appearance on Home and Away.

Sam Ball starred as a ‘river boy’ during scenes that aired in January 2018. 

The previous year, he made several appearances in crime thriller series Secret City, which is available to stream on Netflix. 

In his now-deleted Star Now acting profile, Sam wrote: ‘I have a tendency of making people say “wow” after every experience.’

He's a star! Sam Ball played a 'river boy' in Home and Away during scenes that aired in 2018

He’s a star! Sam Ball played a ‘river boy’ in Home and Away during scenes that aired in 2018

Successful! In 2017, he also made several appearances in crime thriller series Secret City, which is available to stream on Netflix

Successful! In 2017, he also made several appearances in crime thriller series Secret City, which is available to stream on Netflix

Before finding fame on Married At First Sight, Gold Cost-based electrician Mike Gunner previously starred in a low-budget movie.

Footage resurfaced in early 2019 of the 45-year-old playing a gun-toting criminal in an unknown project.

‘He always wanted to be a model or actor,’ an ex-girlfriend said at the time.

Watch out! Before finding fame on Married At First Sight, Gold Cost-based electrician Mike Gunner previously starred in a low-budget movie

Watch out! Before finding fame on Married At First Sight, Gold Cost-based electrician Mike Gunner previously starred in a low-budget movie

Bronson Norrish, who was described as an ‘entrepreneur’ on the show, was also no stranger to the spotlight when he appeared on MAFS.

The 37-year-old, going by the stage name ‘Bronson Foxx’, worked as a stripper for several years before retiring to start his own business.

Before filming Married At First Sight, he was a contestant on Australian Ninja Warrior.

Part-time model? Bronson Norrish, who was described as an 'entrepreneur' on MAFS, was also no stranger to the spotlight when he appeared on the show. Pictured in an ad for a restaurant

Part-time model? Bronson Norrish, who was described as an ‘entrepreneur’ on MAFS, was also no stranger to the spotlight when he appeared on the show. Pictured in an ad for a restaurant

Remember this? Before filming Married At First Sight, he was a contestant on Ninja Warrior

Remember this? Before filming Married At First Sight, he was a contestant on Ninja Warrior


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