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Family Food Fight contestant Fanos Panayides arrested ahead of Melbourne’s Freedom Day protests 

Former Family Food Fight contestant turned COVID conspiracy theorist Fanos Panayides arrested ahead of Freedom Day protests over the stage 4 lockdown in Melbourne

Former Family Food Fight star Fanos Panayides has been arrested in Melbourne as police crackdown ahead of protests planned for this weekend.

On Wednesday, The Age identified the 38-year-old as one of two men charged the previous day, with incitement for allegedly encouraging others to take part in a prohibited anti-lockdown protest in the CBD.

Panayides is a leader of an online group called 99 Unite, who are spreading dangerous conspiracy theories about the coronavirus pandemic and are urging followers to reject COVID-19 tests.

 Charged: On Wednesday, The Age reported that former Family Food Fight contestant Fanos Panayides (pictured) had been identified as one of two men charged the previous day, with incitement for allegedly encouraging others to take part in a prohibited anti-lockdown protest in the CBD 

He has also been heavily promoting Saturday’s ‘Freedom Day’ event, encouraging his followers to march at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance in opposition to the cities stage four lockdown laws following a surge in coronavirus cases.

Following his arrest, Panayides and a 28-year-old Coburg man were later released on bail to appear in court in February.

The former reality star was also detained by police in May after an anti-lockdown protest outside of Parliament House.

Protest: He has also been heavily promoting Saturday's 'Freedom Day' event on social media (pictured), encouraging his followers to march at Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance in opposition to the cities stage four lockdown laws following a surge in coronavirus cases

Protest: He has also been heavily promoting Saturday’s ‘Freedom Day’ event on social media (pictured), encouraging his followers to march at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance in opposition to the cities stage four lockdown laws following a surge in coronavirus cases 

Panayides often goes live on social media to share his dangerous and misleading theories.

Last month, he shared a video where he attempted to teach ‘muppets facts’ about the flu and coronavirus.

‘I’m going to make this live… as a lot of people think I am just rambling,’ he said.

Rant: He often goes live on social media to share his dangerous and misleading theories. Last month, he shared a video where he attempted to teach 'muppets facts' about the flu and coronavirus, before claiming the flu was 'more deadly'

Rant: He often goes live on social media to share his dangerous and misleading theories. Last month, he shared a video where he attempted to teach ‘muppets facts’ about the flu and coronavirus, before claiming the flu was ‘more deadly’

‘I’m going to run some facts by all the muppets out there who think they are doing the right thing and the government is taking care of them,’ he added, before claiming the flu was more deadly then COVID-19.

Panayides rose to fame who was part of a ‘hot-headed’ Greek family that placed third on the low-rating 2017 cooking show on Channel Nine.

He starred alongside his father George, brother Con and sister Soulla.

Rise to fame: Panayides rose to fame who was part of a 'hot-headed' Greek family that placed third on Family Food Fight in 2017. He starred alongside his father George, brother Con and sister Soulla (all pictured)

Rise to fame: Panayides rose to fame who was part of a ‘hot-headed’ Greek family that placed third on Family Food Fight in 2017. He starred alongside his father George, brother Con and sister Soulla (all pictured) 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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