Rippon tests positive for drugs after eating poppy seed bread

Angela Rippon is one of the presenters of Rip Off Britain
Angela Rippon is one of the presenters of Rip Off Britain

Presenter Angela Rippon finds herself testing positive for opiates - after eating poppy seeds in a loaf of bread in the fourth series of Rip Off Britain: Food .

The 72-year-old's unlikely test result picked up the presence of morphine, derived from opium, after she ate a loaf of poppy seed bread and a poppy seed bagel over the course of three days.

The poppy seed experiment came after a contributor to the programme told how he was fired from his job at a power station after a routine drug test showed opiates in his system.

Dumbfounded at first, he realised that the answer must be the poppy seed bread he'd eaten for his breakfast toast.

Rippon said: "In more than 50 years of broadcasting I've found myself in a number of extraordinary situations.

"But I must say I never thought I'd find myself taking a drugs test, let alone have it come back positive."

Rippon had a go at a urine screening test herself as the show explained how drugs tests are becoming more common in work environments where employees drive, operate heavy machinery or where the job is a matter of public safety.

Consulting Queen Mary University toxicology expert, Professor Atholl Johnston, about her own result, Rippon said: "Does that mean that if I was taking a test as an employee, that my employers could say there's a possibility, Rippon, that you're a drug taker?"

Prof Johnston explained: "The amount of morphine in a poppy seed will vary quite considerably depending on when and where it was harvested.

"In fact when tests have been done there's about a six-hundred fold variation in the amount of morphine in poppy seeds."

The popular advice programme has gained popularity through a number of series as it exposes real-life rip-offs and consumer issues that have caught out viewers.

::The fourth series of Rip Off Britain: Food, with Angela Rippon, Gloria Hunniford and Julia Somerville, begins at 10.45am on BBC One on Monday.