Newsreader's girl struggles to sleep rough for TV show

Last updated at 11:57 18 May 2007

As the daughter of one of the most recognisable faces on television, Clementine Stewart has enjoyed a privileged life of private school and ponies.

So being reduced to living rough came as a huge shock to the daughter of ITV newsreader Alistair Stewart.

Miss Stewart, 22, swaps her parents' Hampshire home for the streets of London in a BBC documentary which features six "filthy rich" young people who are left to fend for themselves in the capital for 10 days.

Clementine Stewart

The trainee teacher was so overwhelmed by the challenge of being left without money, her mobile phone, or contact with her friends and relatives that within 24 hours she had broken the rules by appealing to family friend Fern Britton, presenter of ITV1's This Morning, for assistance.

She is seen walking from Soho's "crack triangle"

- where she had been left by the show's producers - to the daytime programme's studios

to track down Britton, who gives her £20.

Clementine Stewart

As punishment, the documentary makers confiscate her sleeping bag for the night.

Miss Stewart said: "We weren't able to access any of our own wealth but it was live by any means necessary, so I did it as if I had been kicked out of home.

"I went to see Fern because she's my mum's best friend. She was the one person in London who worked in a specific place to whom I could turn.

Alistair Stewart

"I was angry and terrified because they dumped me on my own in Soho after warning us to be wary of that area."

Ten days of sleeping rough on the streets, begging, selling the Big Issue and staying in shelters has changed her life.

She said: "I just had no understanding of homelessness.

"I was struck by how easily any of us could end up there, just through family circumstance, a bereavement, or anything going wrong.

"And how people treat you; they can be really rude.

"Coming home was really hard, trying to explain to my friends what I'd done.

"Some were really supportive but other people I haven't really kept in contact with because they were,

"Oh God, don't even think about that, I don't even want to know".

"I've changed the way I spend my money and my time. I went to a soup kitchen and the money they had to keep going for a month, I'd once spent on a hat. Things like that I'd never do now."

The four-part series also features one of Britain's youngest multi-millionaires, Ravi Gehlot, 24.

He is now setting up, offering an address and telephone number for London's homeless so they can apply for jobs and receive identity documents and communications.

Filthy Rich And Homeless, BBC Three, Tuesday, 9pm.

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