It is definitely not the norm for me to interview a nationally known celebrity who lives on my own doorstep.
I was invited by Dee Kelly otherwise known as ‘White Dee’ of the now infamous and slightly controversial benefits street, to her lovely home for a cuppa and an interview.
For me this was a very exciting thing to do as it really was all so new and even though I’ve interviewed many people from Birmingham, not anyone that has made it through a documentary.
Dee was what you would expect her to be, bright, bubbly and funny (and she wasn’t even trying). When I approached her about the interview I wasn’t even expecting a reply, but reply she did and we clicked straight away.
I told Dee I wanted to do a no holds barred interview and to try to really get to know the real ‘Dee’ and to my surprise she was 100% up for it.
One thing I will say is that Dee is all about the community in Birmingham and her love for her family and children is clearly obvious.
None of this fame was planned, but she is going to use it to the advantage of helping others (not herself), Dee believes in the youth of the future and wants to highlight all the hidden talented youngsters that no one else would otherwise be bothered with.
This sudden rise to fame is still to this day a big surprise and to be honest at 42 (although she says 25) years old Dee doesn’t know what to do with it now its a major part of her life.
This was one of the most realist interviews I’ve ever done. I got an exclusive over a cuppa and a nice plate of fish and rice as it was Good Friday.
I spent hours at her home with her family and must say its like we’ve known each other for years and can say that we are now good friends, but then again anyone that has met Dee will say you do get that instant connection.
No airs or graces just a down to earth person who loves her family and friends unconditionally. Dee is special and one to look out for, TV shows, comedy shows, film roles, DJ and has even dabbled at being a rapper.
Words by Mark Dwayne
Mark Dwayne – So Dee how did it all start, how were you approached to do the show?
White Dee – Well the ‘other Dee’ was approached at working links by Love Productions who were scouting Birmingham for people to take part in a documentary focusing on how people are still showing good old community spirit, and Dee being Dee, very impulsive said she would do it, invited them round to hers and after a couple of days got fed up with them and dumped them at my house.
That’s just what shes like bless her. We let these people into our lives for 18 months or more, warts and all, they saw everything, good days, bad days, happiness, sadness the whole lot – I would love it if someday people could see the footage that they shot and chose not to show.
MD – Sounds like your unhappy with Ch4?
WD – Mark I have no regrets, because I believe everything happens for a reason, but I can hand on heart tell you this, we DID NOT know that the programme was going to be called Benefit Street until 2 weeks before the show aired.
I mean in reality if someone had told us they wanted to do a documentary about benefits then we 100% would not of participated. Ch4 even asked participants to come up with names for the show,
Caitlin being a teenager came up with Ghetto Street haha and another option was ‘we will survive’. Ch4 knew exactly what they were doing, they already had the name for the show, and knew exactly who to focus on and how to focus on them.
MD – Are you not happy with the publicity this show has given you?
WD – Like I said Mark, I am still me, still mom to Caitlin and Gerrard 1st and foremost, but I have no regrets, I have met so many amazing people since the programme aired, people wanting to meet me, speak to me, have their photo taken with me, and so many opportunities have come about.
I think that its very unfair that I am the one that seems to have got the most attention out of this and I really don’t understand why.
Up to today I still don’t know what is going on, but I am going to go with it, I just wish it could of happened for the others too.
The programme was filmed nearly over 2 years, and people think they know the real me from watching a 45 minute programme for 5 weeks.
Some people have been very judgemental and quite nasty, but I say don’t judge me if you don’t know me or haven’t met me. Meet me and then if you don’t like me that’s fair enough.
Social media like Twitter and Facebook is where you come across some very nasty people. One said I should get off my fat arse and get a job – ermmmmm who’s the one following someone they don’t like, because I certainly wouldn’t be haha.
I’ve also had people saying I’m not depressed because I don’t look depressed. Get a grip and do some research before you show your inner ignorance.
MD – So lets talk about opportunities, what kind of offers you have had or landed. Is it true you were offered money to pose nude?
WD – Oh please haha people are always referring to my ‘hanging baskets’ but I wouldn’t inflict them on the world, I’ve got 2 kids for god sake haha.
I’m not in this for the money, I didn’t ask for this to happen and am still shocked at the positive reaction I am receiving. I do certain things for a laugh, I mean who 6 months ago would of thought or said I would be releasing a rap single.
I am not doing everything I am being offered like some people seem to think, I still have my good/bad days and only do what I feel is right or beneficial to my family or friends.
I have never done so much clubbing in my life, I’ve been called a gay icon, I have to laugh, I just love people for being themselves, we are all the same and no better than anyone else.
We all bleed the same colour. I went to club DV8 the other week with Ashley Walters from So Solid Crew, Caitlin wasn’t impressed because she wanted to come – but nope – shes 16 haha. He thought I was mad, suppose he wasn’t too far from the truth.
Ive spoken to Romeo Dunn on the phone also from So Solid, OMG is this really happening to me, he knew who I was argggghhhhhh – so I gave him a name drop during the CH4 live debate, and his phone was popping afterwards.
MD – Celebrity Big Brother – whats going on there?
WD – HAHAHA no comment Mark.
To read the full interview check out the May 09th edition of Street Cred Magazine!