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06/09/2018 13:05 BST | Updated 06/09/2018 14:27 BST

Janet Street-Porter Defends Coleen Nolan Amid Backlash Over Kim Woodburn 'Loose Women' Interview

JSP has branded the backlash a "witch-hunt" in her newspaper column.

‘Loose Women’ presenter Janet Street Porter has jumped to the defence of co-star Coleen Nolan, following the fall-out from Kim Woodburn’s recent explosive interview on the ITV panel show.

Last week, Janet served as a mediator when Kim made an appearance on ‘Loose Women’, in what was billed as a chance for her and Coleen to make amends, after their stint in the ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ house last year.

As by now you’ve probably heard, that’s not quite how things went, with Kim eventually breaking down in tears and storming off the panel.

ITV
Janet served as mediator between Coleen and Kim

With Coleen having recently spoken about the abuse she’s received online since the segment aired, Janet has now penned a column sticking up for her fellow ‘Loose Women’ star, branding the social media backlash a “witch-hunt”.

I rarely dish out compliments,” she wrote in the MailOnline. “But I want to shout out how I feel about this wonderful woman. We’re an unlikely couple of pals, and most people would describe us as polar opposites, but I regard Coleen as a true friend.

Why am I dishing out this out-of-character big dollop of praise? I can’t sit by and not react to the loathsome accusations that Coleen is a heartless b**** and a mean-minded bully… all the result of a few chaotic minutes of live television - an interview with reality star Kim Woodburn that rapidly spun out of control.”

She continued: “What followed [the interview] on social media was truly insane, and didn’t reflect (in my opinion) what actually happened. Coleen has been accused of being a bully, of gloating (and worse).

“She’s received death threats and has been trolled by small-minded idiots who say they hope she dies of cancer like her sister Bernie…

“The effect on Coleen has been devastating - a day afterwards, she texted me to say she’d been crying non-stop. Yesterday she appeared on ITV’s This Morning, still barely able to talk through the tears.”

Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock
Coleen gave an emotional interview on 'This Morning' earlier this week

Janet concluded: “To put the record straight, Coleen Nolan is not a bully - and neither am I. I’m proud she’s my friend, and shame on those people who want to hurt her.”

Coleen first spoke about the abuse she’d received online in an interview with Metro, telling them: “What upset me were the trolls afterwards who said I had bullied her. It was really unfair for people to troll us and blame us.

“The whole experience was horrible and I couldn’t stop shaking… we were all incredible stunned. Linda Robson was shaking for the rest of the day and Janet Street-Porter was horrified.”

Since the interview aired, Kim has called for Coleen and her sister Linda Nolan to be sacked from ‘Loose Women’, claiming they “mocked” her when she began recalling the abuse she’d suffered as a child.

Meanwhile, Coleen has expressed regret over taking part in the segment at all, insisting: “I wish I could go back in time and not do it. It was ugly, upsetting and unpleasant for everyone.”

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