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Benefits Street's White Dee: 'We went into the show naively'

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Benefits Street star White Dee has expressed her frustration at the direction of the programme.

Speaking on ITV's This Morning, Dee - otherwise known as Deirdre Kelly - explained that she believes the Channel 4 show was one-sided in its depiction of the street.

Benefit Steet's White Dee

© Channel 4


"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. "They haven't focused on the people they recorded who work or the pensioners."

Kelly repeated the participants' assertion that they believed the show was meant to be about community spirit, explaining that they were only told it would be named Benefits Street two weeks before it aired.

"I think we went into it very naively to be honest," she said. "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...

Channel 4's Benefits Street

© Channel 4


"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."

Kelly dismissed claims from critics that she doesn't have depression, saying: "It's a horrible stigma, depression. Just because you suffer from depression, you don't suffer from it 24 hours a day.

"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."

She also admitted that she gets "so angry" when she thinks about what the show has done for her children's future, but added that she doesn't regret taking part.

Channel 4's Benefits Street

© Channel 4


"We've always been together as a community and we always will be together as a community, but fingers crossed things will get better," she said.

"Like young Mark - he's just had a job opportunity. We've just got to fight on."

Elsewhere, Kelly dismissed claims that she is interested in becoming an MP but was coy about speculation that she could appear in Big Brother, saying: "There is a rumour in the paper."

Benefits Street has been renewed for a second series by Channel 4 but will be filmed in a different location.

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