Myleene's take on single mums was noble, but flawed

Times are hard. We all know that, especially as we're constantly being told how hard the times are by pundits and politicians.

Friday, 3rd June 2016, 3:50 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd June 2016, 4:53 pm
Myleene Klass (far right) joins older single mum Rhiannon Hewitt with her children, Erin, Rhys and Tegan, for a selfie at their home in Buckley, North Wales

Still, the good thing is, we’re all in it together, aren’t we? George Osborne says we are, so it must be true. All of us tightening our belts, making do, saving for a rainy day.

Although, if you read the papers, it seems some sections of society are out for all they can get, and the rest of us can go hang.

Asylum seekers, for one. Anyone claiming income support, obviously. And single mums, they’re the worst, cos not only are they a burden on the state, their kids are too.

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But hang on, here comes Myleene Klass, clothes flogger and former pop star, to take a closer look at this last group, to see if single parenthood really is a “life of Riley, or life on the breadline” in Myleene Klass: Single Mums on Benefits (ITV, Tuesday, 9pm).

Myleene, you see, knows what it’s like for single mums, as she is one, has been for four years, since hubby walked out.

Oh, but wait a minute, Myleene’s a millionaire and – as she admits two-thirds of the way through – has the support of a family living nearby and – here’s the kicker – a nanny.

The programme had laudable aims, and revealed some really telling points – such as the fact that single mums can only claim benefits from the age 0f 18, so those teen mums we read about have little or no state support.

And that the average age of a single mum is 37 – hardly the feckless youngster getting pregnant for a council house you might think from the headlines.

But it was so anecdotal and superficial, as soon as we thought we might be getting to grips with one situation, Myleene whisked us away to another.

It would have been much more illuminating to have stayed with these mums – and a couple of dads – to get a proper idea of how hard their lives really are.

But no, we cut to Myleene at her kitchen table, telling us how much she identified with the hand-to-mouth existence of her interviewees.

There is undoubtedly an interesting, emotional and important documentary to be made about this subject. Unfortunately, this wasn’t it.