Beds, Herts & Bucks

Prince Harry Fox TV dating show 'shameless'

Matthew Hicks / Prince Harry Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Matthew Hicks (left) has to try and persuade 12 women he is the real HRH Prince Henry of Wales, otherwise known as Prince Harry

A US dating show featuring a Prince Harry impersonator from Hertfordshire has been criticised as "shameless" and "predictable".

Matthew Hicks, 24, won a role in Fox TV's I Wanna Marry Harry that sees him attempt to convince women he is the 29-year-old royal.

It has faced criticism after being aired in America on Tuesday.

Mr Hicks, an environmental consultant, said he never thought the premise was mean or deceiving to the girls.

Hair dyed ginger

The Southampton University graduate tries to persuade 12 girls they are competing to date the fourth in line to the British throne in the show.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Matt Hicks was put in a manor house with guards for the new dating show

"They put themselves in this situation," he said.

"They're not weak, mentally fragile girls who especially might break down, and at the end of the day we're all there for a laugh."

He said he thought the real Prince Harry would "think it was quite funny".

But some critics were scathing in reviews of the show. Writing on, James Poniewozik described it as "shameless", while Alessandra Stanley in the New York Times said it "conforms to every British stereotype of Americans".

The Daily Beast website, meanwhile, said it was "irrelevant".

Kensington Palace declined to comment on the show. Fox TV is yet to comment on the reviews.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The girls in I Wanna Marry Harry think they are competing to date Prince Harry

Mr Hicks, who was spotted by producers on a celebrity lookalike website, was given training in royal history.

The geology and oceanography graduate, whose parents live in Henlow, Bedfordshire, played cricket for Hertfordshire.

As well as a history briefing, he had his blond hair dyed ginger and was housed in an English manor house with guards to film the show.

Over five weeks and a series of dates, he had to persuade the women who included a pre-school teacher and student studying for a PhD in physical therapy, he really was the prince.

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