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Friday 14th December 2018

Millionaire breaks Channel 5 rules to make a generous gift to reality show family

Millionaire Matt Fiddes was moved to make the gesture after taking part in lifeswap show Rich House, Poor House

A millionaire who took part in a Channel 5 documentary show decided to go ahead and break the TV company’s rules, to help transform the lives of a poorer family.

Matt Fiddes appeared in last night’s episode of Rich House, Poor House, along with his wife and four children.

The Fiddes family (Credit: Channel 5)

They left their comfortable lives and their six bedroom mansion in Wiltshire behind to swap places, jobs and budgets with the Leamon family from Southampton.

But when the week long experiment was over, Matt decided he wanted to leave the Leamons a life-changing gift – and he didn’t mind breaking the rules to do it.

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What you’ve been through has touched us in ways we have never experienced.

Andy tries out one of Matt's martial arts schools (Credit: Channel 5)

The millionaire had made his fortune by starting one of the world’s largest chains of martial arts school throughout the UK and Europe.

He and his wife Moniqe left their comfortable lives – and their incredible £1,500 a week shopping budget – to move into the terraced council house occupied by the Leamon family.

Matt and Moniqe explore the area around the Leamons home

Dad Andy and mum Kim live there with their two children, Freddie and Olivia.

Kim is disabled, suffering from Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome after being injured in a work accident.

Barely able to walk, she struggles to leave the family home. And no longer being able to work means the family must get by on a small budget.

It’s a far cry from the Fiddes luxury lifestyle, and their huge home set on 60 acres in Royal Wootton Bassett.

The Fiddes family at their Wiltshire home (Channel 5)

But by the end of the week, Matt had been profoundly affected by the Leamons story – and wanted to help.

As Andy and the rest of the family returned home, he was shocked to discover something in the back garden.

Andy sees the gift

Calling Kim outside, she was gobsmacked to see a brand new mobility scooter. And Andy read out a note that had been left with it, by Matt.

“Thank you ever so much for the wonderful life-changing week in your home,” Andy read.

The Leamons read Matt's note

“What you’ve been through has touched us in ways we have never experienced. Now the week is over we have decided to break the rules and have bought you a mobility scooter of your own.

“We hope this will help bring happiness to your family.”

Andy and Kim sobbed and hugged each other in shock and disbelief.

Kim breaks down in tears

And as Kim realised how the scooter would transform her life, she cuddled their daughter and said: “You know what mummy’s gonna do? Mummy’s gonna take you to school tomorrow!”

Matt's note also mentioned how his own late mother had suffered from mobility problems when her health deteriorated, so he wanted to do something in her honour.

“I was reading this out loud and I was getting choked and emotional,” Andy told The Sun newspaper.

“Then he wrote that he had broken the Channel 5 rules, and bought Kim this mobility scooter.

“Kim broke down, and then all of us broke down in tears of happiness.”

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The Leamons celebrate

On such a tight budget, Andy and Kim say it would have taken them years to save up for such a scooter and can't believe Matt's generosity.

“I still choke up when I talk about it, because it is such a lovely gift,” Andy added.