Benefits Street: White Dee 'so angry' at impact show will have on her children’s future


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The Independent Online

White Dee, the matriarchal figure of Channel 4 documentary Benefits Street, has expressed her anger over the impact appearing on the show will have on the future of her children.

Speaking on ITV’s This Morning, Dee – real name Deirdre Kelly – admitted she feels “so angry” when she thinks about how the programme has altered the life of her family.

Her comments come a day after Rev Steve Chalke of Oasis Community Learning said elder siblings of the school's pupils had been "targeted by other children on buses" because they lived in James Turner Street in Birmingham, while pupils as young as four "have been jeered at through the school fence by members of the public".

"I think we went into it very naively to be honest," she said, repeating the participants’ opinion that the show initially intended to portray their community spirit. "Obviously we went into it believing it was community spirit.

"I know people are probably sick of hearing us say that now, but we were told that how we live was how children used to live years ago, where they could all play out together, where we all helped each other, when someone is ill, someone else looks after their children.


"Obviously I don't object to how I've been shown, but what I kind of object to is that I'm not the only person on the street. I am really embarrassed because I am a humble person.

"I think it has given quite a bad impression of our street, because it has just focused on predominantly four people who live on a street of 100 houses who happen to be on benefits," she said elsewhere. "They haven't focused on the people they recorded who work or the pensioners."

She went on to fire back at critics who claim that Kelly does not have depression.

"It's a horrible stigma, depression. Just because you suffer from depression, you don't suffer from it 24 hours a day," she said.

"They were let into the house when I was sleeping, so they did see both sides of it. And in reality they could have put more of that out."

Kelly also rubbished reports that she was interested in becoming an MP, but stopped short of denying that she had been approached to appear in Big Brother.

"There is a rumour in the paper," she added.

Benefits Street has been renewed for a second series on Channel Four, but is set to switch focus to a different location.

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