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Marie Louise McConville: Racial abuse suffered by X-Factor singer just deplorable

Singer Alexandra Burke has been speaking about the racial abuse she has received
Marie Louise McConville

So, it would seem some form of the new normal has finally arrived.

Shops are open, roads are busier, and although there are still some restrictions, some people can see each other again indoors and out.

It's a nice feeling, isn't it?

Coronavirus has been absolutely all-consuming but we are now able to shift our focus onto other issues.

However, now that we have are raising our heads from lockdown, we may not like what we see or hear.

This week, I was really shocked and saddened to hear about the horrible, racial abuse suffered by singer Alexandra Burke.

Unfortunately, I know she is by no means the only person who is the victim of such despicable behaviour but, my goodness, some of her revelations left my head spinning to the point where I found myself fearing for the future of mankind.

How people can be so cruel is just beyond me.

Speaking during an emotional 15-minute video, the 32-year-old performer told of how after she won The X-Factor in 2008, at a time when she should have been on a high, she was told to bleach her skin if she wanted to enjoy any kind of success.

So, let me get this straight. She was talented enough to win the show, but not good enough to make it in the aftermath because of the colour of her skin? Unbelievable.

She was also told she would have to "work 10 times harder than a white artist", and was told to wear her hair in a way which "appeals to white people".

The singer also revealed she was further targeted by racist trolls when she appeared on a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing.

The singer said she had taken a decision to speak out now because it "was time".

"This is a scary moment for me. I didn't always want to speak up.. but it is the right thing to do," she said.

I was floored listening to Alexandra.

Here we have a talented young lady, achieving ultimate success and and some feel it is acceptable to stamp all over her because of the colour of her skin?

It's disgusting.

I accept people for who they are, not based on the colour of their skin.

Racial abuse is abhorrent and I have to agree with football pundit, Rio Ferdinand, who this week urged the UK government to make anti-racism education part of the curriculum, in a bid to end racial discrimination

I agree because kids aren't born racist.

It's something they see and learn and imitate and it's time they were taught everyone is equal and deserves respect - whatever the colour of their skin.

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Oh dear, it seems times are hard for everyone post lockdown - even ITV.

It's been reported that I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here bosses are to stop flying friends and family members of contestants to the jungle.

In the past, the production team has paid for business-class flights to and from Australia and a seven-night stay at the Palazzo Versace hotel in Surfers Paradise however, this will stop when the show returns in November.

It was reported the move is as a result of ad revenue falling because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Well, how are we all doing - have you been out and about yet?

At the moment, this new normal doesn't seem too bad but I haven't even been out to the shops.

Being the rebels we are, we have booked ourselves a little overnight break next month (although I am a little hesitant) and as our holiday to Jersey is not proceeding as planned this year, we have booked a family break in good old Bundoran.

Like me, I am sure you are all eager to get back out there with the kids and let them return to fun activities but we are still waiting for some restrictions to be lifted.

In the meantime, if you are trying to pre-plans days out with the family, how about a visit to Tayto Park?

The Co Meath theme park and zoo has announced it is planning to reopen on Monday at 9.30am.

The park has said pre-booking is essential as visitors cannot pay at the door as it is operating under a limited capacity.

Check out www.taytopark.ie for more details.

Or, if Tayto Park is too far to venture, how about Pickie Funpark in Bangor, Co Down which has introduced a new Fun Pass to ensure social distancing among visitors.

The pass allows visitors to enjoy the many attractions, including the Swans, Disco Ducks, Karts, Mini- Golf, and Pickie Puffer for a set amount of time, ensuring a set number of people per time slot.

Check out www.pickiefunpark.com for more information.

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