Page last updated at 13:24 GMT, Wednesday, 22 October 2008 14:24 UK

Concern over Katona TV appearance

Kerry Katona on ITV's This Morning show
Katona was promoting her MTV reality show, Whole Again

An erratic appearance by former pop star Kerry Katona on ITV1's This Morning caused viewers to call in with concerns about her health.

The singer's slurred words prompted host Phillip Schofield to say: "You don't seem right to me... Your speech is a bit slurred, how are you feeling?"

Katona seemed surprised by the question, but blamed prescription drugs she had taken to help her sleep.

Publicist Max Clifford said he was "increasingly concerned" for Katona.

"There's no way she should have been allowed to do that show," the singer's publicist told Radio 1 Newsbeat.

"Had I been with her, she wouldn't have done," he added.

"I must admit after today and in view of what's gone on over the last couple of months, I am increasingly concerned for her health and happiness."

Drink problem

Katona's appearance was meant to promote a new MTV reality show, Whole Again, which documents her recent cosmetic surgery.

All it is is my medication. I've never been happier, I swear to God
Kerry Katona

But several minutes into the interview, Schofield said: "Our phone has already gone in the gallery from people in ITV who've said 'is she okay?'

The former Atomic Kitten star insisted she was "absolutely fine".

"All it is is my medication. I've never been happier, I swear to God, healthwise I'm fine."

Katona added she had been taking Chlorpromazine, which is an anti-psychotic drug.

She has previously battled drug addiction and depression, spending time in rehab for both.

Phillip Schofield and Fern Britton
Schofield and Britton said viewers would be concerned for Katona
Referring to a recent magazine article which suggested Katona had been seen drinking while in Marbella for a photo-shoot, the show's co-host Fern Britton asked whether the star had developed a drink problem.

"A lot of people say when you have an addictive personality and you get rid of one addiction it's replaced with another. Is it alcohol?" she asked.

"No not at all," Katona replied. "I was on holiday in Spain, I'm allowed to have a drink aren't I? So would that mean I'm an alcoholic?"

Schofield said they were "merely pointing out" what viewers would be thinking as Katona appeared so "different to the person we knew a few years ago".

Drugs 'taken late'

Katona's husband Mark Croft has since posted a statement on the MTV website.

He explained that the slurred speech had been "particularly bad" because Katona had taken her prescription drugs four hours late on Tuesday night.

"Kerry would like to categorically state for the record that that the only thing she drank before the show was cups of tea," he added.

"Having answered the questions to the best of her ability, Kerry was upset at the insinuation that she was on anything other than the prescription drugs which she has always been honest about taking."

An ITV spokesperson said Katona arrived late on set before her live interview.

"Sometimes with live television you don't get a huge amount of time with guests," he said.

He said the few people who had spent time with her before she went on had "no cause for concern" but it was only when she was in the studio that her "speech appeared slurred".

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Biggleswade Chronicle Katona slurs words in TV interview - 32 hrs ago
Sky News Slurry Kerry's TV Denial - 32 hrs ago
Pendle Today Kerry slurs her way through TV interview - 33 hrs ago
Daily Express VIDEO: What's wrong with Kerry Katona? - 33 hrs ago
Sky News Slurry Kerry's TV Denia - 34 hrs ago

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