The mother of CBeebies star Mr Tumble hit back at his former co-star Sarah-Jayne Honeywell’s claims that he ghosted her after she was sacked over topless photos.
On Tuesday, Sarah-Jayne, 47, claimed that she has heard nothing from ‘her best mate’ Mr Tumble – real name Justin Fletcher, 50 – after she was axed by the BBC in 2011, despite the pair working closely on the hit kids’ TV show for a decade.
Despite her claims, the following day, Mr Tumble’s mother Sheila Fletcher dismissed Sarah-Jayne’s claims, as she spoke to MailOnline from her cottage in Berkshire, saying: ‘It’s all a load of old rubbish. He won’t be interested in talking about this…
‘He never comments on anything silly. He’s too busy. He’s just so hard-working all the time. All the children love him. He’s worked very hard for them over many years.’
Hitting out: The mother of CBeebies star Mr Tumble hit back at his former co-star Sarah-Jayne Honeywell’s claims that he ghosted her after she was sacked over topless photos
Hurtful: On Tuesday, Sarah-Jayne, 47, claimed that she has heard nothing from ‘her best mate’ Mr Tumble – real name Justin Fletcher, 50 – after she was axed by the BBC in 2011, despite the pair working closely on the hit kids’ TV show for a decade
Axed: Sarah-Jayne was sacked by the BBC over topless photos that surfaced of the star. In this one from 2015, she posed while she was pregnant in Trafalgar Square for a vegan PETA stunt
Sarah-Jayne shot to fame in 2002 on shows such as Higgledy House and Mighty Mites, alongside her sidekick Justin however her career went down in flames when she posed for raunchy photos in 2011.
Speaking about the fall-out she said: ‘I called and left him a message but to this day he’s never responded. We were the best of mates, so that really hurt. I do understand it though, because as a children’s presenter he needs to protect his own image.’
Sarah-Jayne enjoyed huge fame on the kids’ TV circuit in the various BBC shows, however her ill-fated career hit a speedbump when she posed for PETA during a break from her presenting duties in 2011.
After posing topless on a huge plate of food in London’s Trafalgar Square to oppose eating meat, she was met with rage from bosses and was dropped from the channel.
Sarah-Jane admitted she only agreed to do the shoot for a ‘bit of fun’ and wasn’t paid for her involvement, but still faced backlash from BBC bosses.
Trouble: Sarah-Jayne’s controversial topless shoot for PETA in 2011, is pictured. The shoot was thought to have enraged BBC bosses, who then dropped her from CBeebies
Sarah-Jayne pictured back in the day in her role for the hit CBeebies TV show ‘Tinkerbella’
The star also posed for a shoot in a skimpy vest pouring Diet Coke all over her breasts, and when the images came to light she learned she’d been sacked.
She told The Sun: ‘The BBC was asked to comment, and they simply said I no longer worked for them. That was how I found out. There was never a phone call or a single conversation with my bosses – despite me having worked there for 10 years’.
In 2016, Sarah-Jayne wrote a blog about losing her friendship with Justin, penning: ‘I regret losing my wonderful friendship with Justin. The day my picture went in the paper with the headline, ‘Cboobies’ I never heard from my lovely friend again.’
Justin has long been the channel’s hottest property and is said to earn six figure sums from the lucrative live shows that he once put on.
Infuriating: The star also posed for a shoot in a skimpy vest pouring Diet Coke all over her breasts, and when the images came to light she learned she’d been sacked
He continues to appear on the series Something Special, which has been praised for its use of Makaton sign language and being aimed at children with special needs or those that struggle to communicate.
Justin began presenting on BBC and later CBeebies in 1999, after landing his first big hosting job on ITV’s Fun Song Factory in 1998.
Sarah-Jayne said that she understands why their friendship had to end, saying: ‘He had a very important, brilliant brand to protect. For the sake of children’s joy everywhere, I’m glad he chose them over me…
‘Justin loves the kids and he is passionate about entertaining them and that’s why I do love him. I actually feel quite emotional writing this and I think it’s the first time I’ve truly admitted to myself that, I miss my old mucker.’
The star admitted that after her sacking she was bombarded with online abuse criticising her behaviour, and she faced yet more criticism after speaking about taking cocaine in her youth.
Mr Tumble’s mother Sheila Fletcher rubbished claims made by Sarah-Jayne (left) that her son (right) ghosted her after she got the sack
Sweet: After reflecting on ending her life, she was pulled back from the brink by her Hollyoaks star husband Ayden Callaghan, with whom she has son Phoenix, five, and Indiana, three. The family live together in Lincoln (Ayden, pictured in 2015)
In a 2013 interview she told The Sun: ‘When I did my first line of cocaine, it felt like nothing. It was less mind-altering than alcohol. I started to think, ”I don’t get what the big deal is”. But what I didn’t realise is that cocaine is a slow burner.
‘That’s what is dangerous and what we forget to tell people. Over the first year of me doing it, it got worse and worse.
‘Cocaine psychosis had started to come into my life. I became paranoid because I thought people were following me. I was very thin. My friend and I realised one of us was going to die or go crazy.’