CAROL Smillie, the television presenter, faces being expelled from Mensa after she admitted cheating in a qualifying exam.

The former model, with a reported IQ of 148, 48 points above ''average'', said she was so scared of being labelled a ''dumb blonde'' that she asked a friend to help her with the prestigious intelligence test.

The mother-of-three scored so highly that she was asked to repeat the exam, but refused because she was so pleased with the result. Only 2% of people are thought to have IQs high enough to join Mensa.

In a radio interview to be broadcast this Sunday, Ms Smillie admits: ''I thought I was going to be made to look as thick as 10 short planks and I wasn't having that.''

It is the latest admission from the 41-year-old presenter who recently criticised Changing Rooms, the DIY programme she hosted for 12 series, saying some of its designs were ridiculous.

Ms Smillie was asked to sit the Mensa test while working on the Wheel of Fortune game show. However, her bosses were so worried she would do badly that they offered to complete the test for her.

She said: ''I was horrified that they would even suggest such a thing and said: 'No you will not, I'll do it myself thank you very much'. The test was never done under exam conditions and we had a weekend to do it. It started quite straightforwardly and got progressively more difficult.

''I did two-thirds of it, and when it got a bit sticky at the end I phoned a friend who is a member of Mensa and he finished it for me. I thought that was more intelligent than anything at that point. I thought I was going to be made to look as thick as 10 short planks and I wasn't having that.

''When the results were published, it was revealed that one girl was as thick as 10 short planks, another had the IQ of a duck, but I was contacted by Mensa. I felt quite guilty, but I'm glad that I cheated.''

Mensa yesterday said Ms Smillie would be asked again to resit the test, and if she failed to do so would be expelled.

Caroline Garbett Mensa, spokeswoman, said: ''Membership is only open to those who register an IQ in the top 2% of the population. Because of data protection we cannot confirm or deny whether Carol Smillie is a current member, but if she is this would be extremely embarrassing.''

The average IQ is 100. Depending on the test, a person would need to score between 130 and 150 to achieve the level required to join the elite group. There are currently around 26,000 members in the UK and 100,000 in more than 100 countries .

On its website, British Mensa says its purpose is ''to identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity, provide a stimulating intellectual and social environment for its members and encourage research into the nature,

characteristics, and uses of intelligence''.

In America, it was widely reported that actress Sharon Stone was a Mensa member until she recently admitted she never sat the exam. The move caused the society to remove the star of Basic Instinct from its website, and to rush out an apology.

Dave Warwick, Ms Smillie's agent, last night stood by his client's remarks.

He said: ''This has been well-publicised in the past and it is not something that Carol has tried to hide. But shock, horror, that Mensa even had her on their website because she never sat the test under exam conditions. We are very happy that they have now taken her off.''

Stark Talk, with Carol Smillie, will be broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland on Sunday at 11.30am

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