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Homelessness in Britain Condemned By TV Presenter Richard Madeley

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TV presenter Richard Madeley has condemned Britain's levels of homelessness as a "national shame" and that benefit cuts would make the problem worse.

He spoke after sleeping out on Thursday night in London in an event organised by the charity Centrepoint to raise awareness of the issue and funds to help alleviate it.

richard madeley

Richard Madeley was one of a number of celebrities sleeping rough for Centrepoint

He told ITV1's Daybreak programme: "It's disgusting that there are 80,000 young people sleeping out rough."

Asked what he would take away from the experience, he said: "A sense of shame that we live in a society that allows this to happen.

"I'm not going to go on a political rant about benefit cuts and the fact that kids under 25 aren't going to be getting housing benefit quite soon, but that's going to have a major impact, that really is.

"I know cuts have to be made, but it is going to make the problem worse."

He said Centrepoint, for which he is an ambassador, was founded in 1969, and added: "Here we are in 2012 still talking about half a football stadium of kids sleeping out on the pavements, it's a national shame."

Madeley was accompanied by his daughter Chloe Madeley, also a TV presenter, and disc jockey Sara Cox, who is another ambassador for the charity, plus cast members from Downton Abbey.

Centrepoint held its biggest Sleep Out at Broadgate's Exchange Square in London where 850 people bedded down on cardboard with the aim of raising £250,000.

Homebuilders Taylor Wimpey, which has also raised £70,000 for Centrepoint to date, sent 130 employees to the flagship event and others around the UK, held as part of the inaugural national Sleep Out.