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Critics describe reality show starring Exeter man as Prince Harry as "shameless"

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: May 22, 2014

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Critics have labelled a US dating show featuring a Prince Harry impersonator from Exeter as "shameless.”

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.

The American reality TV show has twelve girls competing for the love of a man who they believe to be Prince Harry – but in reality is really an Exeter impersonator.

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Matt, 24, an environmental worker, who bears a striking resemblance to the Party prince fooled the group of excited girls from the US.

The Americans — flown to the UK in a TV sting to win a date with him — never rumbled the Harry they met was not the real thing.

The elaborate hoax saw the gullible girls put up at stately Englefield House in Berkshire, which they were told a pal had lent to the fourth in line to the throne during his hush-hush quest to find a sexy American.

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

"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 Time.com, 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".

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