Sarah-Jane Honeywell worked on the children’s channel, which produces content for under-sixes, for almost 10 years in the Noughties, presenting popular shows such as Tikkabilla and the Tweenies.
However, she was let go from the channel in 2011 allegedly in response to a photoshoot she did with the controversial animal charity Peta.
In the photo, Honeywell appeared topless on a giant plate of food to make a statement about not eating meat. Many other celebrities including Pamela Anderson and Khloe Kardashian have taken part in similar provocative shoots to promote vegetarianism with the charity.
Appearing on BBC Radio Lincolnshire on Monday (27 December), Honeywell – who now presents her own show on the station – opened up about the scandal.
Agreeing with the idea that children’s TV presenters were expected to act like “saints”, she said that a photo of her taking part in a “wet t-shirt” shoot had previously appeared in the press, but that it was never raised by the BBC.
Honeywell said that Peta had approached her to take part in their topless shoot because she is vegan and that she had thought the BBC wouldn’t have a problem with it either. However, she said, “it was not OK” and it allegedly led to her sacking.
“I’m not really that political. I was just like, ‘I’ll do it to help’,” Honeywell said. ‘I felt really lost, I felt like I’d lost my identity. My whole kind of sense of purpose, identity, everything about me felt like it was slipping away.”
At the time, she said, fathers would often stop her for photos, while mothers would “scowl”, which she said was “not very kind attention”.
The BBC declined The Independent’s request for comment.
Honeywell hosts her own weekly show on BBC Radio Lincolnshire celebrating the best of Eighties and Nineties music.
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