Lib Dem leader received the invitation live on air...
Nick Clegg had an interesting caller when he appeared on his weekly LBC radio phone-in show today (Jan 22). The Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister received a call from none other than ‘White Dee’ one of the most prominent stars of Channel 4’s Benefits Street.
White Dee is everyone's mum on James Turner Street
Deidre Kelly, who is better known to viewers under the pseudonym ‘White Dee’ - due to the ‘Black Dee’s' presence on the street - told the Deputy PM that she had been a Liberal Democrat voter but had switched to Labour since the coalition. She offered Clegg the chance to reclaim her vote, telling him, “you can attempt to win me back.” (BBC)
The so-called ‘mother’ of James Turner Street would also like to prove to the Lib Dem leader that the reality of life on the street is far from how it is being portrayed by Channel 4. She said if he accepted her invitation he would see “a very clean street. He would see people getting together, helping each other – not scrounging – and children at school.”
Mr Clegg, however was careful not to commit to accepting Dee’s invitation saying, "By the sounds of it I would love to meet Dee. But I am not going on air to make promises I am going to turn up on your street.” He also admitted to never having seen the show but said, "I think it’s very cleverly edited. We had no idea it would be this big."
Clegg also gave his views on the current benefits debate the programme has started saying, “The impression I have had is you have one side of the argument saying this just shows the whole benefit system is rubbish, we should withdraw all benefits and all people are scroungers living off the state.
Fungi is always up to something on 'Benefits Street'
“There is another extreme of people who say it was outrageous that Benefits Street was ever made and it is demonising people on welfare. I strongly suspect both of those caricatures are wrong. We want a welfare system which is compassionate."
The third episode of the series aired on Channel 4 on Monday night and saw ratings rise to over 5 million. However, the series is still seeped in controversy, with residents complaining of being unfairly portrayed in the programme. Channel 4 has since invited residents to take part in a live debate over the issues raised in the series on February 10th.