The Chase star Anne Hegerty has defended herself after sparking a backlash for swimming with dolphins in Florida.
The quizzer, 62, found herself in hot water with some people after she took a dip with some of the mammals during her trip across the pond for spin-off show The Chaser's Road Trip: Trains, Brains And Automobiles.
After the segment aired, some fans said they loved the scenes. But the Mirror quoted an RSPCA spokesman as saying they were “disappointed to see animals being used in this way”, and on Twitter some viewers said they were “disgusted”.
Hegerty opened up about it during an interview on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, when presenter Susanna Reid asked her: “There was some criticism over the dolphins… did that sting?”
The TV star replied: “It’s not really something I want to get into.
“These, as I understand it, were rescue dolphins and as far as I knew they were very well looked after.”
She went on: “I know there have been some issues with dolphin entertainment centres, my understanding was this wasn’t the same sort of place.”
“But really that’s all I can say, I’m not an expert,” she added.
A former journalist turned professional quizzer, Hegerty joined ITV show The Chase in 2010 as Chaser The Governess.
The Chasers Road Trip sees Hegerty and fellow Chasers Mark Labbett and Shaun Wallace travelling around the world.
Watch: Anne Hegerty says she’d be on benefits if she wasn’t on The Chase