Rebekah Vardy: Jehovah’s Witnesses & Me

Tuesday: Rebekah Vardy: Jehovah’s Witnesses & Me (Channel 4, 10pm)
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For almost a decade, Rebekah Vardy has generated a lot of column inches and social-media interest up and down the country.

In 2001, her kiss-and-tell about a night of passion with singer Peter Andre was splashed in The News of the World, though she later apologised to him and said it was something she regretted.

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Six years later, Rebekah joined the ranks of the country’s footballers’ wives and girlfriends, dubbed WAGs by the tabloids, after embarking on a romance with footballer Luke Foster, before they split in 2013.

Rebekah VardyRebekah Vardy
Rebekah Vardy

While she was working at Sheffield nightclub Viper Rooms, Rebekah first encountered Leicester striker Jamie Vardy, whose 27th birthday party she was organising at the time.

He was smitten from the start and pursued her, but she was less enthusiastic. After two months, she eventually agreed to a date before love blossomed and the pair tied the knot in May 2016.

Rebekah raised her profile even further the following year by appearing on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!, then popped up as a guest panellist on Loose Women, and appeared on shows such as Good Morning Britain, Jeremy Vine and This Morning, and in 2019, she and Jamie featured in two episodes of Celebrity Gogglebox. So far, so good.

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However, that same year, fellow WAG Coleen Rooney, wife of football icon Wayne, dropped a social media bombshell.

She revealed on Twitter that posts from her private, restricted Instagram account were being leaked to The Sun newspaper and the culprit was… Rebekah Vardy.

She immediately denied the accusation and in 2020, sued Coleen for defamation. Rebekah won a preliminary stage in the case in November 2020, but in July 2022, following the full trial, the judge ruled against her and determined that the claims made by Coleen were “substantially true”.

The trial, dubbed Wagatha Christie, was a sensation both in the tabloids and on social media, leading to vociferous opinions on both sides and endless threads as the gossip machine kicked into high gear.

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Astonishingly, in the middle of it all, Rebekah was among the celebrities who took part in the 13th series of Dancing on Ice.

This documentary does not seek to rake over all those old coals. Instead, it aims to reveal a side to one of the UK’s most famous women that has not been explored before.

For the first time on television, Rebekah plans to tell the story of her earliest years. She grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness and claims the religion failed to support her through sexual abuse and shunned her as a child.

Rebekah wants answers, and cameras follow her as she goes on a personal and investigative journey to look back at what happened, talking about the profound effect this has had on her.

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The star meets former members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, including an exclusive interview with a victim of child abuse. She also hears from a former member, who has gathered thousands of secret documents that shine a light on the inner workings of the organisation.

Whatever your opinions of Rebekah Vardy and Wagatha Christie, this should be a fascinating insight and is well worth a look.