Dee Anderson is fighting ITV over the deal to sell the Thunderbirds' TV rights in 1962

Dee Anderson is suing ITV to get the Thunderbirds’ television rights.

Former ITV boss Sir Lew Grad offered Gerry Anderson bribes in return for the sale of the rights to Thunderbirds in a bargain-price arrangement, according to his stepdaughter.

Dee Anderson, 68, alleges Gerry was gifted a Rolls Royce and a villa in Portugal ‘away from the books’ after he sold the TV rights for £110,000 in 1962 – a deal which made ITV ‘hundreds of millions of pounds’.

The claims were made by her to seek retrospective financial compensation. She was making the claims because Sylvia Gerry’s exwife and co-creator of Thunderbirds, Gerry, had not been able to make any money off the hit TV show.

MailOnline was informed by her: “We have evidence Gerry has received these gifts form Lew Grade, which is why we sold the Thunderbirds rights at an incredibly low price.” 

These gifts would have to be made today, and both Lew & Gerry would be in violation of the Bribery Law. Gerry sold his soul to buy a Rolls Royce. 

Sylvia passed away four years later than Gerry. Sylvia lived a difficult life and was forced to remortgage her home in Brays Berkshire in order to make repairs. 

Gerry Anderson (pictured in 2005) died in 2012 aged 83. He sold the TV rights to Thunderbirds in 1962 for £110,000. His stepdaughter Dee, 68, claims he woefully undervalued it

Gerry Anderson, pictured in 2005, died at the age of 83 in 2012. He sold the TV rights to Thunderbirds in 1962 for £110,000. Dee (68), his stepdaughter claims that he woefully underestimated its value.

Dee's mother Sylvia Anderson, who produced the series and was the voice of Lady Penelope, was cut out of the deal before her acrimonious divorce from Gerry, according to Dee

According to Dee, Sylvia Anderson was Dee’s mother and produced the series. She was also the voice of Lady Penelope.

John Tracy was one of the Thunderbirds team

Scott Tracy was a popular International Rescue team

This British classic series was centered around the International Rescue Team’s missions on Tracey Island. They kept their Thunderbird fleet there.

Gerry on the other hand, lived in an Oxfordshire cottage while Anderson Entertainment made a profit from Thunderbirds.

Dee believes money should not have been a problem for her mother. After co-creating Thunderbirds (a worldwide phenomenon that spawned many spin-offs such as Captain Scarlett and Stingray), Dee was disappointed by Gerry, who made business deals on behalf of the company and guaranteed Gerry would be financially successful – even though she was a shareholder.

Ex-ITV boss Sir Lew Grade bought the rights to Thunderbirds from Anderson in 1962

Sir Lew Grade, ex-CEO of ITV bought Thunderbirds rights from Anderson in 1962

She claims an ‘old boys network’ at ATV, before it turned into ITV, led by Grade agreed a deal to buy the Andersons’ production company AP Films for £110,000, and the subsequent rights to its shows, despite its market value being significantly higher.

Sylvia’s name was also left out of credits for later adaptations of Thunderbirds, a deal allegedly struck by Gerry following their acrimonious split in 1975, when he sold the rest of their production firm to British production company ITC and ATV for just under £15,000 in 1975 – without her consent. 

The second deal was in the seventies. He also gave back his villa as part of that agreement. 

Gerry wrote in his 2002 authorised biography What Made Thunderbirds Go! that he received a ‘brand-new, navy blue, gleaming Silver Shadow Rolls Royce from Grade’ at his basement office.

Dee alleges that ITV has never discussed her proposal for financial retrospective action on the 1962 deal with ITV, despite her claims of having had a long dialogue over it for several years.

Dee said that ITV had been in contact with me for some time, but they are still not interested in my financial situation.

“I do this to honour my mother, her legacy, and hopefully inspire other women who have been victims of sexism and exploitation in film and television industry.

Dee says that Anderson was given this Rolls Royce, pictured in front of a Portugal villa he was also gifted as part of the £110,000 deal in 1962 to sell the Thunderbirds TV rights

Dee says that Anderson was given this Rolls Royce, pictured in front of a Portugal villa he was also gifted as part of the £110,000 deal in 1962 to sell the Thunderbirds TV rights 

Dee seen as a teenager with her mum Syvia and stepfather Gerry. Sylvia struggled financially, having to re-mortgage her house, having not benefitted from the Thunderbirds deal

Dee as a child with Syvia, her mother and Gerry. Sylvia had to refinance her home because she was not eligible for the Thunderbirds deal. 

ITV spokesperson said that they value their long-term relationship with Dee Anderson’s family. Dee requested us to do everything necessary in order to remember her creative contribution.

“This involves giving credit to Sylvia Anderson for Thunderbirds-related content, and working with PR, press and licensees in order to include her marketing and product. This will be a continuing practice, particularly given Sylvia’s significant creative contribution to Thunderbirds Are Go, the 2015 reboot.