Lucy Kennedy has opened up about the backlash she received after posting a picture on social media of her sitting beside Katie Hopkins.
The TV star lived with the controversial TV personality at her home in Bristol for an episode of Living with Lucy – and it caused quite a negative reaction.
Lucy posted the photo as ‘editorial market research’ to show Katie what people think of her in Ireland – and the presenter was taken aback by the response.
“It was quite an interesting exercise, just to see perceptions,” she told the Irish Independent. “I could not respond to the tweets and some were quite negative and quite nasty and I read every one of them. I really did.”
“The first few stung a little but as awful as it sounds you become immune to it. As the tweets were coming through I was getting tougher and tougher and tougher. Amazingly the reactive tweets didn’t really resonate with me, people going, ‘Oh, I’m not going to watch this. I never liked you anyway’, they didn’t really have any effect on me.
“It was the ones that said ‘we’re very disappointed in you’ – those ones got to me. What people didn’t realise and what they realise now [after seeing the show] is that I feel the exact same way as they did. I did it to see what she’s like to live with, not because I agree with her.
“It was never going to be a love in. I’m just shining a light on a dark corner and showing people what she’s like to live with. I think people just put certain characters in the media on this platform and make them into something that they’re not, something that should be feared.
“While there are many things I fear, and I do have my fears, people are not one of them. I just don’t fear people and, if anything, I think thank God people like me have the balls to go and get a torch a shine a light in those dark corners.”
“At the end of the day as well, which people do forget, it’s just a television programme. I think people need to step away from Twitter and maybe just prioritise life,” she said.
The mother-of-three was preparing to launch the Cheerios Childline Breakfast 2017 when she was receiving criticism online.
“When people were giving out about me living with Katie Hopkins I was preparing to launch Cheerios Childline for the ISPCC and I couldn’t help but think, as I was frantically running around trying to get organised for the launch, that if they have that much time on their hands I really wish they’d put it to better use and volunteer.
“The fact there are 460,000 calls from our children in Ireland to Childline makes me think a few more volunteers would help. If anything the whole Katie Hopkins experience just gave me perspective on what actually matters.”
Viewers are yet to see Lucy live with controversial actress Danniella Westbrook – who was “difficult” to live with, according to Lucy.
Lucy also admitted that a lot has happened behind the scenes of Living With Lucy when the cameras aren’t rolling – but insisted that she’s “too professional to talk about them”.
“At times I would be irritated by people saying, ‘You never asked her about this or that’ when actually I did. I asked her everything but not everything can be used,” she added.