When it comes to Katie Hopkins, Denise has A LOT to say…

We announced last week that Katie Hopkins is Now’s brand new columnist – but there was one person who was not happy about our news – actress and presenter Denise Welch.

Taking to Twitter, the ex Loose Women host exploded with anger, accusing Katie of having misogynistic views and being ‘dangerous’.

Yes, Katie is outspoken, we all know that. But she’s not dangerous.

Anyone who watched Celebrity Big Brother, where Katie was so popular she came second, would have seen a surprising softer side to the mum of three. We weren’t alone in thinking that it was Katie who offered the voice of reason in that place. Yes, she might have let us in on some rather provocative views, but she also was strong, inspiring and taught us a thing or two about cutting through the crap and speaking our minds. And that’s why we wanted her to be part of the Now team! 

Time and time again we see celebrities sticking to the family-friendly formula of playing nice and being, well, a little beige in their opinions about things. Katie is the opposite. She stands up for people who don’t have a voice, and often she says what alot of people are already thinking. Yes, she can get people’s backs up but she also reminds us to speak up for ourselves, take an interest in politics and make a difference. 

Likewise, Denise is never backwards in coming forwards about her opinions. She’s firey, she’s outspoken so maybe this is a matter of clashing personalities too, after all, they’ve never seen eye to eye.

The earliest signs of a feud between the two, who have never met, dates back to December 2013, when Samantha Brick (remember her?) suggested that Katie would be good on the Loose Women panel.

Denise who had left the show that October, clearly wasn’t keen on the idea, Tweeting: ‘So glad that @SamanthaBrick thinks Katie Hopkins can save @loosewomen… WTF!!!’

Fast forward to today and Denise‘s issues with Katie stem from her unsympathetic attitude towards overweight people and comments she has made about depression.

Denise, who is an ambassador for mental health charity Mind and in the past has opened up about her battle with depression, drugs and alcohol, and revealed that she tried to kill herself, has referred followers to comments Katie Hopkins has made about mental health, which she calls ‘bigoted.’

In September Katie suggested that on occasions doctors can be too quick to diagnose people as suffering with mental health issues, and revealed that she was misdiagnosed and prescribed anti-depressants.

She Tweeted: ‘Doctors need to spend less time signing sick notes and more time dispensing some strong words of advice like “get a bloody grip.”

‘Once I was given a sick note and a prescription for anti-depressants. I threw the note in the bin, ripped up the script and went back to work.

The comments were seemingly inspired by Joyce Thacker who was put on paid sick leave from her £130,000 a year role as head of children’s services at Rotherham Borough Council. Her being written off work coincided with calls for her to quit her job after it came to light that 1,400 children had been sexually exploited between 1997 and 2013.

Katie added: ‘Sick leave? Typical. Joyce Thacker needs to take accountability, not paid sick leave. Why do doctors do this?’

As someone who has suffered from mental health issues for 25 years, Denise is passionate about removing the stigma that surrounds them, and rightly so.

She asks us why we’ve got Katie Hopkins to join the Now team, and to this we can only respond that she should read her column on Tuesday because she might be surprised by the side of Katie she sees. There will be no nastiness, no misogyny, just big on empowering people, women especially, to stand up for themselves and speak their minds.

Let us know what you think too. Tweet us @NowMag.