Casualty actress Amanda Mealing has defended Stacey Dooley following the “white saviour” row over her Comic Relief visit to Uganda.
Labour MP David Lammy accused the Strictly Come Dancing winner of perpetuating “tired and unhelpful stereotypes” after she posted pictures from her trip to film a documentary.
Mealing, who plays Connie Beauchamp in Casualty, has just returned from a trip to health centres in Ghana for WaterAid’s Water Effect Appeal.
She told the Press Association that celebrities had to walk “a fine line”.
But she said of the controversy around presenter Dooley: “I think that’s quite unfair on Stacey Dooley really.
“You can’t have a go at us in the UK and the West because of the postcode lottery of being born here in different circumstances and not there.”
She said: “I think if you have a position where people may take notice of what you say … then you kind of have a duty of care to others to bring awareness.
“The saviour complex of going there and saying … ‘Look what I’ve done’, that’s a very different thing.”
She said: “I’m not going in there saying I’m going to save anyone … ”
Mealing added: “I don’t think Stacey Dooley was doing that and I definitely wasn’t doing that.”
Meanwhile, Olly Murs, who has worked with Unicef, told This Morning: “I can see the arguments that people have put forward, but for me personally, I have only the best intentions to go over there and use my profile to help raise awareness and help save lives.
“That’s what Unicef was all about. It was amazing for me to see the benefits of where this money was going and to tell everyone their money was going to a really good cause.”
He said: “I do it to raise awareness and help, and if they don’t want me to go then fine, but my door is always open.”