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ITV 'should donate to abuse groups'

An MP has called on ITV to "take a stand" and make a donation to a domestic abuse charity in the wake of the uproar caused by remarks made by Dennis Waterman during the recording of Piers Morgan's Life Stories show.

The New Tricks star has been accused of trivialising domestic violence after he described hitting his ex-wife Rula Lenska.

The actor, best known for playing Terry McCann in ITV's Minder, told Morgan he was "very, very ashamed" of the attack.

He said: "The problem with strong, intelligent women is that they can argue well. And if there is a time where you can't get a word in ... I lashed out."

During the interview for the show which has not been broadcast yet, Waterman said he might have had too much to drink to remember everything that happened.

He said: "I must have punched her one time because she did have a black eye."

But he added: "She certainly wasn't a beaten wife, she was hit and that's different."

Stella Creasy, Labour MP for Walthamstow, said the programme could make "an important contribution to raising awareness about how widespread domestic violence is in our society".

She said: "Furthermore, given the profile the programme will receive, ITV could also help by giving charities working with victims of this crime a platform too, as well as making a donation to help keep their vital services going. I certainly hope they will use the outcry these comments have caused to take a stand on these issues."

Morgan described her proposal as "rather absurd". The former Daily Mirror editor tweeted: "Can't blame me or ITV for what Dennis Waterman said."

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