This Morning host Philip Schofield has denied treating reality star Kerry Katona insensitively during an interview on the ITV1 programme.

The former Atomic Kitten's appearance on the morning show last year sparked concern for her wellbeing after she slurred her speech and appeared confused.

The 28-year-old later claimed her slurred speech was due to having taken prescription drugs to help her sleep and has since claimed Schofield and co-host Fern Britton were "quite rude" in questioning her mental state.

"I have a serious illness," she said in reference to her bipolar disorder launch of her new reality series Kerry Katona: What's Your Problem? on Tuesday.

"But what really annoyed me when I was on This Morning was how they ignored the illness and my medication and just presumed I was a drunk."

When asked if she understood that her slurred speech had prompted Schofield's question, she said: "Yes, but I gave him an answer. Why would I lie about it?

"I gave an answer about my bipolar. The public do not take it seriously, nor do interviewers or anybody for that matter.

"It's a serious illness, I told them what I was on, I told him it was medication. I said I had I had an illness and he just went: 'Are you drunk?' which I thought was quite rude."

In the aftermath of the interview in October Schofield had criticised the 'irresponsibility' of allowing Katona to appear on the programme when on heavy medication and has denied her claim that he accused her of being drunk.

"In light of Kerry Katona's recent press conference I would like to point out that the recollection I have of the interview we did with her, differs considerably from hers," he said in a statement released on Tuesday.

"Anyone who regularly watches This Morning will hopefully agree that we try our very best to give a balanced point of view.

"I still believe we approached her difficulties with a much fairer, gentler hand than she would have received in many other arenas."

He added: "It is fantastic that she is attacking her problems head-on, it can't be easy and is to be congratulated. As always, I wish her nothing but health and happiness."

06/05/2009 09:16:25