A man tried to talk his way into a family home in the early hours of the morning - by claiming he was filming hit TV show Hunted.

Frances Hearn was woken up at 4am by the would-be intruder knocking loudly on her door, claiming he was being chased by bounty hunters for the hit Channel 4 show.

Frances says the man banged on her door in Worthing, West Sussex, on the morning after Valentine's Day, but she refused to let him in.

On the TV show, 14 British citizens compete for a £100,000 prize by going 'on the run.' Contestants are 'hunted' by world class investigators for up to 28 days and must avoid being found to win a share in the £100,000 prize.

But Frances, whose two children were sleeping upstairs, was not willing to open the door after the man demanded to be let in and refused to leave when asked.

Frances said: "I heard a voice say 'my name's Lee, I'm on the run, let me in'.

"He said 'I'm from a TV show, the Hunted, let me in, let me in'.

"I ran straight into my partner - my children were sleeping upstairs."

Frances' partner, Ash, turned on the outside light and told the intruder to leave.

The mother-of-two said: "He just kept saying 'let me in'. He wouldn't leave."

Eventually the man stepped away but started looking around the sides of the house as though trying to gain access, before moving down the road and crouching behind a car.

Frances and her partner called the police, and the mystery man stood up and "sprinted at full speed" down the road.

The ordeal lasted around ten minutes.

Frances said: "I had thought maybe there was something wrong with him or he was mentally ill, but when I saw him stand up and sprint like that I just knew it wasn't right.

"I can't stop thinking, what did he want?

"What could have happened if I had opened the door?

"You never think it's going to be you so I almost opened it without thinking.

"It's freaked me out thinking what could have happened.

"It's the fact that he went to that length of saying he was from a TV show. If he needed help he could have just said - there's a hospital and police station close by."

Channel 4 confirmed the incident was in no way related to Hunted.

A spokeswoman said: "Channel 4 Hunted is not currently filming.

"The safety and well-being of members of the public and fugitives is of utmost importance and fugitives are not allowed to conduct any activity that could cause distress.

"Our Fugitives don't undertake activity at night and are always accompanied by a camera operator.

"We can confirm this incident was in no way related to the programme."

The trauma of the incident has left Frances wary and unable to relax in her own home.

But she wanted to use her experience to help other people who may open their doors without thinking.

She said: "There are a lot of young mums on their own.

"Not everyone's got a man around and it's important that people don't just open their front doors.

"I was going to do it because I trusted where I was, but he was a complete weirdo."

While she could not be sure of the man's appearance, she said he seemed to be in his late 20s and had a receding hairline.

The last episode of Hunted aired on February 14, the day before Frances' encounter.