Page last updated at 20:21 GMT, Monday, 12 May 2008 21:21 UK

Duchess joins benefit family life

Duchess of York
The Duchess has long campaigned for healthier eating habits

The Duchess of York has spent six months with a family of six who live on benefits for a new ITV1 documentary.

She told Radio Times she could live in a council house, but that she would "make it nice inside" and not smoke.

During her on-and-off stay with the Sargersons family, she slept in a 40-a-night bed-and-breakfast in Hull.

After making the two-part documentary on obesity and eating, the Duchess said Britain was eating itself "to death". The series starts on 19 May.

She said she got on very well with the family, who live on benefits of 80 a week.

I could live in a council house and below the benefit line, of course. Anyone could
The Duchess of York

"It took the family 20 minutes to get used to me. I get on well with anybody.

"They're very special - the salt of the earth, kind, loving. I've seen families all over the world who live like them."

She added: "I could live in a council house and below the benefit line, of course. Anyone could.

"But I wouldn't smoke and I'd make it nice inside and eat green vegetables because I was brought up on a farm."

ITV signs duchess as 'fat guru'
06 Mar 08 |  Entertainment

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