GMB: Adil Ray sparks backlash with ‘insensitive’ joke about Paul Gascoigne having ‘a few tipples’

·3-min read
(Left) Adil Ray and (right) Paul Gascoigne, as seen on Good Morning Britain (ITV)
(Left) Adil Ray and (right) Paul Gascoigne, as seen on Good Morning Britain (ITV)

Good Morning Britain presenter Adil Ray has been criticised by viewers for seeming to make a joke about Paul Gascoigne’s alcohol consumption.

The former England footballer has spoken openly about his struggles with alcoholism over the years.

Appearing on the popular ITV chat show, Gascoigne spoke about starring on Italian reality series Isola dei Famosi, and demonstrated speaking Italian to viewers. Gascoigne spent three seasons playing for Italian football club Lazio between 1992 and 1995.

“It’s amazing,” said Ray. “You spent how many years - three seasons, three years and that’s where you picked [speaking Italian] up and held onto it. 

“That was quite some time ago as well and you’ve had a few tipples since then as well so to keep that in you is really impressive!”

Some viewers took objection to the reference to “a few tipples”, with one viewer describing it as “insensitive” and another writing that “alcoholism is not a laughing matter”.

“I can’t believe they have shared this video,” wrote one person. “Imagine saying to a bloke who nearly died through alcoholism that he’s had a ‘few tipples since then’. Disgusting.”

“Why is it acceptable for the presenter to say ‘you’ve had a few tipples’ to someone who has publicly battled alcoholism for 30 years?” asked another. “Aren’t we supposed to be stopping this kind of thing?”

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GMB I expect a full public apology is issued by your presenters to #gazza after his remarks about a few tipples. #Disgraceful,” wrote another viewer.

“Paul Gascoigne can speak Italian since the 90s I think,” said someone else. “And he was surprised that he still knew it because ‘obviously he’d had a few tipples since then’... Was awkward.”

Good Morning Britain can be seen weekdays at 6am on ITV.

Alcoholics Anonymous helpline is open 24/7 on 0800 9177 650. If you would prefer, you can also email them at help@aamail.org or live chat via their website at www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk. Drinkline, a free, confidential helpline for people who are concerned about their drinking, or someone else’s. Call 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am–8pm, weekends 11am–4pm).

Watch: Adil Ray, Zane Powles and Olivia Strong chat to Kate Thornton on Up Close and Socially Distant

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