Belfast Telegraph

Benefits St cast 'lost everything'

One of the stars of controversial show Benefits Street has said the cast have "lost everything" since it was first broadcast.

Deirdre Kelly, better known as White Dee, said it had made Birmingham's James Turner Street, where the show was filmed, into a "tourist attraction".

She told The Stephen Nolan Show on BBC Radio 5 Live: " People have moved, and it is all because of the show. It was like one great big massive happy family. It does break my heart because we've lost everything. I've lost people I considered family.

"This documentary turned our street into a tourist attraction. They turned us into figures of hate. We were liked by a lot of people, but we were also hated by a lot of people."

The show was attacked for exploiting the participants and branded "poverty porn" by some critics, but it made stars of some of its cast, including Kelly.

It also attracted hundreds of complaints to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom, which cleared Channel 4 of breaching any rules.

The new series, which is filmed in Stockton-on-Tees, was heavily criticised by local politicians who opposed the programme.

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