Whiteley MI5 claims 'ridiculous', says wife
The wife of late broadcaster Richard Whiteley has denied “ridiculous” claims that her husband worked for MI5.
Kathryn Apanowicz said Whiteley’s asthma and poor grasp of technology and maths meant there was no chance he could have coped with a secret career in espionage.
It comes after actor and union activist Ricky Tomlinson accused the former Countdown host of conspiring with the Government and orchestrating a plot to have him and a group known as the Shrewsbury 24 jailed.
Tomlinson said a documentary presented by Whiteley, entitled Red Under The Bed, was propaganda designed to influence a jury that went on to convict him for offences linked to the 1972 builders’ strike.
The Royle Family star said he has classified documents which show the then prime minister, Sir Edward Heath, and Labour MP Woodrow Wyatt were involved in the conspiracy.
“We found out this week that the film was designed, written, made and paid for by the security services,” Tomlinson told the Chester Chronicle.
“Woodrow Wyatt was a member of the security services and, unbelievably, so was Richard Whiteley, who hosted the show.”
Apanowicz, who was married to Whiteley for 11 years, branded the claims “ridiculous” and said the family had been in “hysterics”.
“Really and truly, Ricky Tomlinson should take a long, hard look at himself and stop casting such stupid aspersions because it’s nonsense, he’s made himself look a bloody fool,” she said.
The actress said Whiteley, who died in 2005 after undergoing heart surgery, “was the most indiscreet person” she knew, and “could not keep a secret for toffee”.
“Number one, he had an asthma inhaler so running around and escaping from whoever was chasing after him, he wouldn’t be able to do that,” she said.
“He couldn’t work technology, it’s nonsense. In those days, he didn’t have an Aston Martin, he had a brown Ford Escort,” she added.
“He couldn’t do maths – he used to struggle with the Conundrum.”