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Stacey Dooley defends Comic Relief pictures shared on Instagram following backlash

The star replied to a fan's comment on the social media site

Andrea Caamano

Strictly Come Dancing winner Stacey Dooley has had a difficult week following a backlash over her Comic Relief trip to Africa. The star had to defend herself earlier in the week when MP David Lammy reacted to her Comic Relief pictures, telling her "the world does not need any more white saviours", and now Stacey has continued to defend her actions – this time on Instagram.

Replying to a fan who asked her underneath a picture of her with a little boy if she would "pick up random white children in Europe and force them to be in your selfies", the star was quick to defend her actions: "I've had numerous photos with children from Europe. Last year I was with Roma kids in Hungary and no one had any issues with these photos."

The star went on to explain that she always gets consent from the children's guardians before taking or sharing any pictures on social media.

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"We have verbal and written consent from their guardians to use their images and only if we've spent time filming with them, do we ask."

She continued: "The suggestions that I would stroll up to a child I don’t know or have an existing relationship with, and would force them to have a selfie is ridiculous. I've been working in Africa for nearly 12 years, I ask the locals and NGOs how I should behave. None of them here are upset with this photo. The little lad was perfectly happy. His granddad joked he's often grumpy…"

On Thursday, Comic Relief released a statement defending the star: "We are really grateful that Stacey Dooley, an award-winning and internationally acclaimed documentary-maker, agreed to go to Uganda to discover more about projects the British people have funded there and make no apologies for this.

"She has filmed and reported on challenging issues all over the world, helping to put a much-needed spotlight on issues that affect people's lives daily.

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"In her film, people working with or supported by Comic Relief projects tell their own stories in their own words. We have previously asked David Lammy if he would like to work with us to make a film in Africa and he has not responded. The offer is still open."