He may be a veteran of daytime telly, but Richard Madeley got off to a bit of a rocky start as Piers Morgan’s Good Morning Britain stand-in on Monday morning.
Many viewers of the ITV breakfast news programme were left angry with Madeley over his questioning of missing pilot David Ibbotson’s family, branding the TV star insensitive.
Ibbotson was flying the plane that crashed over the English Channel carrying newly-signed Cardiff City player Emiliano Sala and although the footballer’s body and plane wreckage has been found, the pilot has yet to be recovered.
Had Richard Madeley lost the plot this morning whilst interviewing the poor pilots family (in the Sala plane crash). He asked the question “why is it so important now to find him”?? Really Richard? You’re asking the mans wife and daughter why it’s important to find his body 🤦♂️
— Simon (@si1774) February 11, 2019
His wife Nora and daughter Danielle appeared on GMB to appeal for donations to help continue their search so that they could lay their loved one to rest, but viewers complained that Madeley’s line of questioning was thoughtless.
Many expressed outrage that he clumsily asked the family why they wanted Ibbotson’s body back, sparking a flurry of angry tweets about his insensitivity.
What kind of question was that Richard madeley, asking a family why they want to find his body ,I would have thought that was bleeding obvious
— poppy pie (@moojools) February 11, 2019
Oh no. Richard Madeley shouldn't be allowed anywhere near this grieving family… Embarrassing, I can't watch him #gmb
— Rebecca Dundon 👄🍸 (@Rebeccadundon1) February 11, 2019
— Frazer Seel (@FrazerSeel) February 11, 2019
Richard Madeley’s questioning of the missing pilots wife is absolutely ridiculous.. “Why do you want him back” #GMB
— Lee Hathaway (@leehath1968) February 11, 2019
However, Danielle later tweeted that she felt the whole show’s team had been kind and helpful to her family.
Thank you so much Good Morning Britain for allowing my mum and myself to share our memories about my Dad and what he was like. You have been so kind and supportive to us all. @richardmadeley @kategarraway @GMB @ITV https://t.co/I29f2pDQPA
— Danielle_Ibbotson (@faboulousDani) February 11, 2019
Morgan and his co-host Susanna Reid are taking a break from the show ahead of presenting from the Oscars in Los Angeles later in February, but some GMB viewers said they hoped that Madeley would not be sticking around until then.
— Emma (@emmajvale) February 11, 2019
Those watching Madeley’s efforts also questioned his judgement over less serious issues, such as his chat with singer Katherine Jenkins.
— Ste O'Brien (@stemark01) February 11, 2019
Knowing me, knowing you! It's Richard Madeley! Ah haaaa! #gmb
— Arthur P Winkle (@ArthurWinkle) February 11, 2019
Madeley was hosting the show alongside Kate Garraway while its regular presenters are off air.
He is best known for his years at the helm of This Morning with wife Judy Finnigan, which they hosted from 1988 to 2001.
The couple later launched another chat show, Richard & Judy, which aired from 2001 to 2009.
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