Page last updated at 22:38 GMT, Tuesday, 5 May 2009 23:38 UK

Katona condemns 'rude' Schofield

Kerry Katona was ''really annoyed'' that her illness was ignored

Reality TV star Kerry Katona has accused presenter Phillip Schofield of being "ignorant and arrogant" during an interview on This Morning last year.

Katona, who slurred her words during the show, told reporters the cause was medication for bipolar disorder.

The 28-year-old said Schofield asked if she was drunk during the discussion, "which I thought was quite rude".

Schofield denied the claim, saying he and his team "pride ourselves on being sensitive and caring to our guests".

The presenter added: "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."

'Drink problem'

During the interview, Schofield said he never accused Katona of being intoxicated, and merely expressed concern for her condition.

Several minutes into their interview last October, he said: "Our phone has already gone in the gallery from people in ITV who've said 'is she okay?'

But the former Atomic Kitten star insisted she was "absolutely fine".

Referring to a magazine article which suggested Katona had been seen drinking while in Marbella for a photo-shoot, the show's co-host Fern Britton then 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.

I told them what I was on, I told him it was medication
Kerry Katona

"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?"

'Serious illness'

Speaking at the launch of her latest reality TV series, Kerry Katona: What's Your Problem? the star said she was not happy at the way she had been treated.

"I have a serious illness," she said.

"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 could understand 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."

The former singer is seen coming to terms with her condition in the new MTV series. She said she had given the cameras access so she could "set the record straight".

She added: "I'm very thankful for it, because obviously the medication I was on before was the wrong medication to be on."

In a statement released on Tuesday, Schofield said: "Anyone who regularly watches This Morning will hopefully agree that we try our very best to give a balanced point of view.

I wish her nothing but health and happiness
Philip Schofield

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

"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."

Kerry Katona was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2006 and has been outspoken about the way the illness has affected her in the past.

Bipolar disorder, which affects half a million people in the UK, is characterised by periods of depression and mania.

When people have mania they are typically elated, overactive and need less sleep. They may also suffer from delusions or hallucinations and are at significant risk of suicide.



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