Young Talent Time’s Debra Byrne SLAMS former co-stars Tina Arena and Dannii Minogue

Young Talent Time veteran Debra Byrne has slammed her fellow former co-star Tina Arena after she described the show as being a ‘save environment’ during Sunday night’s 50th anniversary reunion special.  

The Channel 10 program, titled Young Talent Time Unmasked, saw Arena, 53, and fellow Young Talent Time alumnus Dannii Minogue, 49, reunite for an interview about their experiences filming the talent show that kick-started their careers. 

The singers took turns speaking fondly of Young Talent Time and its creator Johnny Young, 74, with Arena saying she felt ‘lucky’ to have been ‘protected’ while on-set.  

'Wherever children gather there is likely to be an abuser': Young Talent Time veteran Debra Byrne, 64, (pictured) has slammed her fellow former co-star Tina Arena, 53, for claiming she felt 'protected' while on the show

Pictured: Tina Arena, 53

‘Wherever children gather there is likely to be an abuser’: Young Talent Time veteran Debra Byrne, 64, (left) has slammed her fellow former co-star Tina Arena, 53, (right) for claiming she felt ‘protected’ while on the show

‘What we have unfortunately seen today, and we can see that with Britney Spears’ story, this girl was not protected,’ Arena explained.  

‘We were. We were [protected] by our own families and we were protected by [the show]. That is a gift,’ she added. 

These statements didn’t sit well with 64-year-old Byrne, who in 2006 claimed she was sexually abused on set as a teenager in the 70s.  

50th anniversary special: The Channel 10 program, titled Young Talent Time Unmasked, saw Arena (right) and fellow Young Talent Time alumnus Dannii Minogue, 49, (left) reunite for an interview about their experiences filming the talent show that kick-started their careers

50th anniversary special: The Channel 10 program, titled Young Talent Time Unmasked, saw Arena (right) and fellow Young Talent Time alumnus Dannii Minogue, 49, (left) reunite for an interview about their experiences filming the talent show that kick-started their careers 

Byrne has since reportedly issued a scathing response to Arena’s claims. 

‘[Being protected] has nothing to do with luck,’ she wrote online, according to The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday. 

‘It takes mindfulness, organisation, vigilance, intelligence, awareness and an understanding that wherever children gather there is likely to be an abuser. For me there were many.’ 

Memories: The singers took turns speaking fondly of Young Talent Time and its creator Johnny Young, 74, with Arena saying she felt 'lucky' to have been 'protected' from unsafe situations while on-set. Pictured: Young posing with the cast of Young Talent Time

Memories: The singers took turns speaking fondly of Young Talent Time and its creator Johnny Young, 74, with Arena saying she felt ‘lucky’ to have been ‘protected’ from unsafe situations while on-set. Pictured: Young posing with the cast of Young Talent Time  

Byrne, a mother of three, starred on Young Talent Time between the ages of 12 and 16.  

In her 2006 memoir Not Quite Ripe, Byrne shared details of a ‘sexual relationship’ she’d had at age 13 with a Young Talent Time crew member, who was a decade older than her. 

He was charged with statutory rape.   

Firing up: Byrne has since reportedly issued a scathing response to Arena's claims. '[Being protected] has nothing to do with luck,' she wrote online, according to The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday

Firing up: Byrne has since reportedly issued a scathing response to Arena’s claims. ‘[Being protected] has nothing to do with luck,’ she wrote online, according to The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday 

Throwback: Byrne, a mother of three, starred on Young Talent Time between the ages of 12 and 16

Throwback: Byrne, a mother of three, starred on Young Talent Time between the ages of 12 and 16

In August 2014, Byrne took to Facebook with new claims she was abused on-set as a teenager, naming two of her alleged abusers and describing being assaulted in a swimming pool during the filming of 1972 film Caravan Holiday.

‘After a day’s filming we the YTT and crew were swimming in a pool,’ she wrote in the post, which was subsequently deleted.

‘I don’t recall where the pool was but while I was in the pool [name withheld] swam up to me and digitally raped me. I was a very disturbed girl and was abused I believe because I was considered fair game.’

Speaking out: 'It takes mindfulness, organisation, vigilance, intelligence, awareness and an understanding that wherever children gather there is likely to be an abuser. For me there were many,' Byrne wrote. Pictured: The cast of Young Talent Time posing with host Johnny Young (centre)

Speaking out: ‘It takes mindfulness, organisation, vigilance, intelligence, awareness and an understanding that wherever children gather there is likely to be an abuser. For me there were many,’ Byrne wrote. Pictured: The cast of Young Talent Time posing with host Johnny Young (centre) 

Byrne – who would have been about 15 years old at the time – also referenced another incident which she claimed took place while she and Young Talent Time star Johnny Young were filming a Red Tulip Chocolates commercial.

‘There were more than two people in the studio. If this jogs anyone’s memory and you are comfortable to speak with me about what took place in the studio please contact me,’ she posted.   

Speaking on behalf of her father, Young’s daughter Anna said at the time that Byrne should report the incidents to police.

Assault: In August 2014, Byrne took to Facebook with new claims she was abused on-set as a teenager, naming two of her alleged abusers and describing being assaulted in a swimming pool during the filming of 1972 film Caravan Holiday. Byrne is pictured (left) with her Young Talent Time co-stars in 1971 including Young (third from left)

Assault: In August 2014, Byrne took to Facebook with new claims she was abused on-set as a teenager, naming two of her alleged abusers and describing being assaulted in a swimming pool during the filming of 1972 film Caravan Holiday. Byrne is pictured (left) with her Young Talent Time co-stars in 1971 including Young (third from left) 

‘He would like her to go to the police, if she feels so strongly about it, rather than put it on Facebook,’ Ms Young told news.com.au.

‘He feels if any woman has been wronged in any way — he’s very protective — go to the police, don’t put it on Facebook.

‘We wish her all the best, if she does feel there is something that happened to her I agree with my dad, she really needs to go to the police.’

Bombshell claims: In August 2014, Byrne took to Facebook with new claims she was abused on-set as a teenager, naming two of her alleged abusers and describing being assaulted in a swimming pool during the filming of 1972 film Caravan Holiday

Bombshell claims: In August 2014, Byrne took to Facebook with new claims she was abused on-set as a teenager, naming two of her alleged abusers and describing being assaulted in a swimming pool during the filming of 1972 film Caravan Holiday

Days later, entertainment reporter Peter Ford said he’d spoken to Young about the allegations, telling Nine: ‘[Ford is very concerned for Debra, he just wants her to be happy and healthy but I think at the same time he’s pretty angry that this stuff is being dredged up.’  

Ford subsequently told radio 3AW interview, that Young denied knowing any alleged abuse was taking place.

‘The suggestion with Deb often seems to be that Johnny Young knew what was going on and didn’t do anything,’ Ford said, adding: ‘Johnny is adamant he didn’t know anything. He certainly wouldn’t have allowed it.’ 

Young Talent Time show first aired between 1971–1988, with a total of 804 episodes. It was later rebooted in 2012 but failed to gain a steady audience.  

Byrne has enjoyed a long, successful career as an actress and pop singer since her days on Young Talent Time, appearing in TV shows including The Secret Life of Us, Home and Away and Fat Tony & Co.   

Glittering resume: Byrne has enjoyed a long, successful career as an actress and pop singer. Byrne is pictured with the cast of Fat Tony & Co at the 2014 Logie Awards. L-R Robert Mammone, Madeleine West, Richard Cawthorne and Simon Westaway

Glittering resume: Byrne has enjoyed a long, successful career as an actress and pop singer. Byrne is pictured with the cast of Fat Tony & Co at the 2014 Logie Awards. L-R Robert Mammone, Madeleine West, Richard Cawthorne and Simon Westaway

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