Former CBeebies star Sarah-Jane Honeywell has opened up in a candid interview about her shock firing after taking part in a naked photoshoot for PETA.
The 47-year-old shared intimate details of her life, including how her famous topless shoot for the animal rights organisation left her feeling "lost".
The star had an almost decade-long career on the BBC channel during the noughties – presenting Tikkabilla and Higgledy House as well as Tweenies and Friends Show.
She discussed her experience with Scott Dalton on BBC Radio Lincolnshire – the same station Sarah-Jane now hosts her own weekly radio show.
Commenting on the controversial pic, which saw her sprawled out wearing only knickers and covering her breasts with her hands, she said: "I was invited to do a PETA photo as I'm vegan. It was [a] bra and pants shot."
It saw Sarah-Jane lying on a giant plate with peas and chips to encourage spectators to think about their eating habits.
Sarah Jane then detailed about how she was asked to take her bra off because they said she would get more attention.
She said: "I thought it would be okay but it wasn’t. The Sun went to BBC for comment and they said that I no longer work for them."
Asked about the pressure that children's TV presenters faced, she agreed with the assumption that they were "expected to be like a saint" and that when she revealed her back tattoo her bosses were shocked.
The photoshoot which is understood to have led to her departure from CBeebies, Sarah-Jane said that she didn't consider it to be controversial at the time.
She said: "I'm not really that political. I was just like I'll do it to help."
She also explained that prior to the PETA shoot, she had posed for "a wet t-shirt type" photoshoot in which she poured Diet Coke over herself whilst wearing an almost-see through vest, though this drew no scorn from Beeb bosses.
Asked about the impact of the scandal, she 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."
Since departing CBeebies, Sarah-Jane founded the Curious Theatre School with her husband, Ayden Callaghan. The 40-year-old is himself an actor, having been in Emmerdale and Hollyoaks. The couple have two children together.
Daily Star has contacted the BBC for comment.
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