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Former Coronation Street extra who once modelled for Debenhams now sleeps rough outside branch; Mum-of-six Deana shares her heartbreaking story.

Byline: Kirsty Bosley

A former model and TV extra has told how her life led to homelessness on a new Channel 4 show.

Survivalist Ed Stafford began exploring the UK cities by sleeping rough on 60 Days on the Streets on Thursday night.

In it, he meets Deana, a former Debenhams model who now sleeps rough outside a branch of the department store, theManchester Evening News reports.

Ed, 43, spent two months in Manchester, London and Glasgow, in winter, with no money, no food and no shelter to film his new documentary.

In the first episode, Deana can be seen telling Ed to get into her makeshift home - which is essentially a blue canopy over shopping trolleys situated in Piccadilly Gardens - before explaining how she went from modelling to the streets.

Mum-of-six Deana said: "I was a model when I was a kid. I did a lot of work. I did a lot of extra work, done a lot of modelling, you know, picture work for Marks and Spencer and United Colours of Benetton. I've done Dash, I've done a lot of catalogue."

"I've done Debenhams," she continues, gesturing at the Market Street store, which is near to where she beds down each night.

"I've done Coronation Street, Brookside, Eastenders, I've done Crossroads. Extras, yeah.

"Mallett's Mallet, Timmy Mallett - Wacaday, that's it."

When Ed tries to comprehend how she went from a successful past to sleeping rough, Deana tells him it started when her parents divorced.

When I was 13 my dad brought me into the kitchen and said, who do I want to live with? Your mum or your dad. My dad was moving to Bristol.

"I chose to live with my mum then everything went pear shaped. She was a drug addict.

"If I was pushed the way a child should be pushed, in the right direction, I wouldn't be sat here today. I would have made something of my life."

While she doesn't reveal exactly when she began sleeping rough, Deana opens up a little about her children.

She said: "I've got children. Married when I was young, 15, first love, been with him for god knows how long, but unfortunately that didn't work out.

"It's heartbreaking, because I can't bring my kids here."

Ed also spoke of horror at how 'zombie' drug Spice has gripped Manchester's streets.

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He said the city was the 'most manic' of all the places he visited.

"Manchester was shocking," Ed said.

"It's the location that was most manic. The drug, spice, has laid waste to sections of the homeless community, and you see them in the main squares, frozen like zombies."

Catch up on 60 Days on the Streets onchannel4.com

CAPTION(S):

Credit: Channel 4

Deana speaks to survivalist Ed Stafford on 60 Days on the Streets

Credit: Channel 4

Deana's story is highlighted in the first of Ed Stafford's homeless documentary 60 Days on the Streets

Credit: Channel 4

Deana speaks to survivalist Ed Stafford on 60 Days on the Streets

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Publication:Crosby Herald (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 17, 2019
Words:507
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