TELEVISION viewers watched tonight as two undercover reporters onboard a Southampton-based cruise ship claimed crew were forced to accept poor working conditions.

Channel 4’s Dispatches programme showed secretly-filmed footage from onboard Celebrity Eclipse, which they claim shows staff facing below British minimum working standards.

Celebrity Cruises has tonight vowed to investigate all the claims made in the programme and said that they will take “shift action” if any wrongdoing is found.

During the 30-minute documentary, Tazeen Ahmed got a taste of life as a passenger and her colleague Paul Mills got a job as an assistant waiter  - which they say saw him earn £2.24 an hour, less than half the UK minimum wage.

Speaking to other employees, the footage showed staff complaining of long days with little breaks and no days off, while others said they had to use their wages to pay other people to help them finish their duties.

In a statement Celebrity Cruises said: “Celebrity Cruises is taking immediate steps to investigate all of the allegations made by the undercover reporter to determine their basis and validity.

“If we discover that anyone within the company, or at the hiring and placement agencies we work with, violated our procedures and requirements, or the European and international labour regulations to which we adhere to, then we will take swift and corrective actions.”