June 27, 2022

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Former S Club 7 singer Jo O’Meara has opened up about her previous struggles with playing habit.

Talking on Thursday’s version of Lorraine, Jo shared that taking part in on fruit machines supplied some “escapism” for her throughout her “hectic” time within the chart-topping pop group.

“It grew to become a little bit of a factor,” she stated. “With the band, it was so busy and so hectic, I simply used it as a little bit of escapism to run away with myself for a short time.

“I acquired caught up within the flashing lights and getting the three sevens or leprechauns, or no matter it could be. It was only a bit an excessive amount of enjoyable.”

Jo revealed that her bandmates had been conscious of the problem on the time, saying: “Once we used to journey across the county, it was like, ‘The place’s Jo?’. Everybody would know, ‘oh, she’s on the fruit machine’. But it surely was simply what I did.

“After I look again I believe, ‘I shouldn’t actually have been doing that’, as a result of what you study as you grow old is you by no means win.”

Jo with her S Club 7 bandmates at the height of the group's success
Jo with her S Membership 7 bandmates on the peak of the group’s success

Tim Roney by way of Getty Photos

Tim Roney by way of Getty Photos

″[But] you by no means win – that’s why I’m right here right now, to spotlight it as a result of it’s all over the place.”

Discussing the problem of on-line playing right now, Jo stated: “Once you’re urgent a button, it’s really easy to fall into a really, very darkish place… It may occur to anyone. I believe there’s nonetheless an enormous stigma to it, the place individuals affiliate playing with a person sitting in a betting place or a poker desk. It’s not the case in any respect. It’s occurring much more than it has earlier than.

“I wished to succeed in out to individuals and say, ‘I’ve been there myself, I perceive it, there’s no disgrace in choosing the cellphone up and asking for assist’.”

Jo and Lorraine discuss the singer's past struggles with gambling addiction
Jo and Lorraine focus on the singer’s previous struggles with playing habit

Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

“I believed in the future, ‘That’s it, I’m finished,’” she added. “I haven’t checked out a machine as soon as [since], however I perceive it’s not like that for everyone. You do get caught up in it. However there’s assist there.”

On the finish of the interview, Lorraine requested whether or not an S Membership 7 reunion would ever be on the playing cards, with Jo admitting: “I believe if it ever was to occur, I’d undoubtedly be up for doing it. I’m prepared to succeed in for the celebs!

“It’s a case of getting seven our bodies all collectively in the identical room, we’re all so busy and it’s fairly full on when it’s S Membership 7.”

Following this, Jo launched her solo album Relentless in 2005, and subsequently made an look on Celebrity Big Brother, throughout which she confronted a heavy backlash, alongside fellow housemates Jade Goody, Danielle Lloyd and Jack Tweedy, for his or her therapy of Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty.

After S Membership 7 reformed for a reunion tour in 2015, Jo relaunched her solo profession in 2021.

Lorraine airs each weekday from 9am on ITV.

For extra details about playing habit contact GamCare’s web site or name the Nationwide Playing Helpline on 0808 8020 133).