Jeremy Kyle: controversial celebrity backs Colne artist's emotional plea on Talk TV for post-Covid mental health support for businesses during the cost of living crisis
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Jay Stansfield, the illustrator behind children’s cartoon The Squibbles, took to Talk TV on Friday to call for emotional help for small companies during the cost of living crisis.
The 42-year-old, who also fronts Pendle band ALL HAIL HYENA, says the “domineering” presenter, formerly of The Jeremy Kyle Show, was sympathetic to his fears that many entrepreneurs will be neglected as they struggle with anxiety and depression over a gruelling winter.
Jay said: “The topic is so important but it’s sometimes swept under the carpet, which is so frustrating.
“I wanted to be the voice of the people in my own little way and encourage more mental health support for businesses.
“Being self-employed, you’re always very vulnerable. With the cost of living going up, I feel like people might be less likely to take a chance on us.
"I’ve felt a bit shaken about finances. I used to rent a space but I had to move out because of rising costs. I’ve been in this position before but it feels a bit more potent this year, given the energy costs and the uncertainty.”
Talking about being interviewed by Jeremy Kyle via Zoom, Jay added: “It was cool; it was pretty fun watching myself on TV.
“Jeremy Kyle’s presenting style is quite domineering. But I think I broke him. I softened him a bit as he agreed with me on the need for mental and emotional support for businesses. That’s my biggest achievement.
“I’m not the only one who feels this way. I think it’s important that someone was able to go on TV and talk about it.
“I think the issue really is the fallout from the pandemic. The Government gave all those handouts to businesses and then just kind of left them and now they are not supporting them anymore.
“Businesses have to lean on each other. It’s massively important to create some kind of support network and talk to each other. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to show that they care.”
Jay will lead a children’s workshop at Burnley Library on Saturday as part of Fun Palace. The day’s activities kick off at 10am.