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3am: KERRY XMAS BREAK; Stressed mum in a dash for the sun.

Byline: WITH JESSICA CALLAN, EVA SIMPSON AND CAROLINE HEDLEY

TROUBLED Kerry Katona is set to check out of London clinic The Priory next week and fly away for Christmas.

The star, who split from hubby Brian McFadden in October, has been told by doctors to spend time away from the stresses of her life in Britain.

So the 24-year-old - who has depression - is flying somewhere hot to spend time with gal pals.

A close mate of the I'm A Celebrity winner confided: "She's devastated she won't be with her kids on Christmas Day. Being a good mum is her No 1 priority, but she also needs to sort her head out after what's been a terrible year.

"Her children will be looked after by Brian's mum, and Kerry will make up for not being there by giving them lots of cuddles before and after Christmas."

The couple, who split after Brian, 24, decided he wanted out of the marriage, have two children together: Molly, three, and Lily Sue, 10 months.

Bri won't be in the country over the festive season either. He's off for a lads' break.

"It's been a traumatic year for the pair, so it's important they spend time sorting themselves out," said a pal. Insiders say former Westlife star Bri, now forging a successful solo career, was banned from seeing Kerry in the Priory.

Our source said: "Kerry still loves Brian, so doctors didn't want him coming to see her and leaving her more confused.

"He just wants to do what's best. Bri feels guilty that he's responsible for Kerry's depression. He knows the fact that he cheated with a lap dancer on his stag night put extra pressure on the relationship."

Kerry will have a couple of days out of the clinic this weekend before leaving for her holiday. She is due back on TV next year in a new movie called Showband.

Just remember, Kez... no New Year's Eve dalliances with the ex!

CAPTION(S):

BREAK: Kerry is off
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 18, 2004
Words:334
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