Good Morning Britain’s host Susanna Reid has shut down calls for ITV to remove co-host Richard Madeley.
Speaking to The Sun, Reid said the co-host is a “legend in broadcasting,” adding: “He’s the founder of This Morning, he’s been doing it longer than any of us and he’s got a particular way with politicians.
“If they don’t want to answer the questions, he’ll end the interview – he did that with Gavin Williamson when he was defence secretary.
In the interview with the outlet, she said Madeley can sometimes be “a bit bolder” with his “wording”. But she thinks “a lot of viewers wonder why other people get offended by what he’s said.”
She added: “Layla Moran dealt with that with enormous grace and she wasn’t offended.
“In fact, when she was asked about it subsequently, she said it was a total distraction from the real issue.
“I think Richard brings so much to the programme, including a really loyal audience.”
Last month, Madeley, 67, was met with backlash after he asked British-Palestinian MP Layla Moran if she was aware of Hamas’ plans to conduct their terror attack in Israel before it happened.
At the time, the GMB host was accused asked Ms Moran: “With your family connections in Gaza, did you have any indication of what was going to happen 10 days ago … was there any word on the street?”
Taken aback, the senior Lib Dem politician replied: “Not this, not this. Everyone, everyone has been surprised first of all by the timing and sophistication and they way that it’s happened.”
Issuing an apology following widespread outrage, a GMB spokesperson said: “Richard is sorry that he has upset viewers with his question to Layla Moran.”
They added: “His intention was to understand the mood and atmosphere amongst the civilian population of Gaza immediately before the attacks … He did not mean to imply that she or her family might have had any prior knowledge of the attacks.”
Many took to X/Twitter to share their condemnation of Madeley - asking for him to be removed from the show.
“Richard Madeley insinuated a British MP had inside knowledge of the Hamas attack due to her having family from Palestine. Yes he should be sacked,” one user wrote.
Another user said it was “Absolutely bloody shameful,” and also called for Madeley to be sacked.
“This is plain racism and Islamophobia. This chap Richard Madeley has disgraced himself and should be sacked,” a user commented.
However, his is not the first time viewers have asked Madeley to be removed from GMB.
Last month the presenter was called “insensitive” while interviewing Coronation Street star Peter Ash about Motor Neuron Disease.
Ash appeared on GMB alongside Sam Hayden-Harler, who was diagnosed with the condition at age 35, to talk about how he was helping him with the hard-hitting storyline.
Madeley said: “Peter, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty, what does he show you to do in terms of movement?”
He continued: “What I mean is does he come to your dressing room and say, ‘At this stage, you walk like this?’”
Madeley’s co-host, Kate Garraway quickly intercepted and said: “No, no, not quite like that” to which Madeley responded: “He has been a very big help to the storyline.”
Fans were quick to comment on the awkward interview.
“Richard Madeley really is a top tier knobhead and clown. Asking an MND suffered on @GMB if he teaches people how to walk as if they have the disease. Jesus Christ. 2023 and we still have this gobshite on TV,” a viewer wrote on X.
“Did Richard just say does he go to your dressing room and say you have to walk like this,” another asked.
But that’s not the end of it… here are Madeley’s 5 most controversial Good Morning Britain moments.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV1 and ITVX.