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Instagram’s Worst Con Artist, 25 April 2024, ITV1

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Instagram’s Worst Con Artist, airing on ITV1 on Thursday 25 April, tells the story of Belle Gibson, a social influencer who rose to fame by claiming she cured her terminal cancer through wellness and healthy eating. The documentary explores how Gibson’s miraculous story brought her wealth and fame, and the devastating consequences when journalists discovered that none of her claims were true.

The episode begins by charting the rise of Belle Gibson, a 21-year-old single mother who claimed to have been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Gibson shared her journey on social media, documenting how she rejected conventional medicine and instead adopted a wellness and natural living lifestyle. She attributed her apparent recovery to a healthy diet, exercise, and alternative medicine therapies.

With her inspiring story, Gibson quickly gained a large following on Instagram, where she shared healthy recipes and updates about her condition. This led to the launch of her successful app, The Whole Pantry, and a book deal with Penguin for an accompanying cookbook. Gibson’s brand was soon backed by major companies, including Apple and Penguin, and she made countless television appearances.

However, the episode takes a dark turn as it uncovers the shocking truth: none of Gibson’s claims were true. She never had cancer, and her entire story was a web of lies. Journalists Beau Donnelly and Nick Toscano began investigating Gibson, uncovering discrepancies in her story and reaching out to her for comment.

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As the investigation unfolds, the episode explores the impact of Gibson’s deceit on her followers, some of whom made life-changing decisions based on her advice. It also examines the role of the media and big brands in promoting Gibson’s story without conducting proper fact-checking and due diligence.

The episode includes interviews with Gibson’s friends and family, who speak on the record for the first time. It also features social media posts and recordings made by Gibson herself, providing insight into her motivations and the extent of her deception.

Instagram’s Worst Con Artist airs on ITV1 at 9:00 pm on Thursday 25 April 2024.

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Isabelle aka Izzy Jacobs is the UK previews specialist at memorabletv.com. Isabelle is particularly drawn to crime dramas, but she also has a not so secret love for all things reality TV. In addition to her work at memorabletv.com, Isabelle is also an avid traveler and a devoted foodie.

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