Richard Whiteley was 'not an MI5 spy... he could not keep a secret for toffee', partner claims

Richard Whiteley died aged 61 in 2005. Credit: PA

Claims that the late TV presenter and former ITV Calendar host Richard Whiteley was an MI5 operative have been branded "ridiculous" by his partner.

The comments come after actor Ricky Tomlinson accused Whiteley of working for security services by helping to orchestrate a plot to have him jailed in the 1970s.

He suggested a documentary called Red Under the Bed fronted by the ex-Countdown host persuaded two jurors in a case against him to change their verdicts.

Tomlinson, a trade unionist, was convicted for offences linked to the 1972 builders' strike and says he has evidence to support his claims.

Whiteley died in 2005 aged 61 after undergoing heart surgery.

Victoria Whittam reports: