RICHARD Madeley has faced calls to be sacked over what critics called a “disgusting” question to an MP guest over the Hamas horror.
A GMB spokesperson later said Richard was “sorry that he has upset viewers with his question to Layla Moran”.
The furore follows earlier controversial moments involving Madeley since he joined GMB as a relief presenter in 2017.
‘Insensitive’ question about Hamas attacks
Viewers called for Madeley to be taken off air after his question to Ms Moran which was condemned as “dumb” and “insensitive”.
He asked the MP for Oxford West and Abingdon: “With your family connections in Gaza, did you have any indication of what was going to happen ten days ago, two weeks ago?
“Was there any word on the street?”
Madeley has apologised for a question to Liberal Democrats MP Layla Moran[/caption]
British-Palestinian MP Ms Moran was asked about Hamas terror attacks on Israel[/caption]
Stunned Ms Moran paused for a moment before responding: “Not this, not this.
“Everyone, everyone has been surprised first of all by the timing and sophistication and they way that it’s happened.
“People say, go back to the negotiating table – the fact of the matter is there has not been a table, let alone to go back to a negotiating table for at least ten years.
“This is a cycle of violence. My worry now is that this is radicalising another generation on all sides.
“We have to stop this hatred. We have to bring people together and find a way through.”
Ms Moran, who became the first British-Palestinian MP when elected in 2017, has spoken about relatives trapped in a church in Gaza City.
The MP said they had “no food and no water” and “nowhere to go”.
GMB’s statement after criticism of Madeley said: “Richard is sorry that he has upset viewers with his question to Layla Moran.
“His intention was to understand the mood and atmosphere amongst the civilian population of Gaza immediately before the attacks.
“He asked Layla about her family in Gaza City because she had discussed speaking to them earlier in the interview.
“He did not mean to imply that she or her family might have had any prior knowledge of the attacks.”
Climate activists likened to paedophiles
He responded by asking on air: “If these people, these barristers and lawyers, have announced they will not prosecute – they simply won’t even get started in a court of law – someone who has glued themselves to the road as part of a Just Stop Oil protest, are they still happy to defend, say, a paedophile?”
He began that interview by telling Miranda she had no support from viewers after after her group blocked fuel supply chains.
He also branded Just Stop Oil’s slogan “childish” and compared her to Little Britain character Vicky Pollard.
He also accused her of “hypocrisy” for wearing clothes.
Madeley asked Miranda: “You’d accept, wouldn’t you, that it’s a very complicated discussion to be had?
“It’s a very complicated thing and this ‘just stop oil’ slogan is very playground-ish, it’s very Vicky Pollard, it’s quite childish.
“‘Just stop oil’ – I mean come on, there’s more to say than that isn’t there?”
She replied: “I would say that the answers are actually very simple. We need to stop new oil licensing and that’s what we’re asking.”
He went on to tell her: “You talk about democracy but lets talk about hypocrisy.
“The clothes that you’re wearing to some extent owe their existance to oil.
“There are so many ways oil impacts on your life as a protestor but you don’t acknowledge that.”
Miranda responded: “We’re talking about crop failure by 2030, we’re talking about people in this country in fuel poverty because of the price of oil and you’re talking about what I’m wearing.”
Clashing with union chief Mick Lynch
The GMB presenter pushed Lynch on the timing of the industrial action taking place close to Christmas.
RMT union leader Mick Lynch has accused Richard of ‘ranting’ and talking ‘twaddle’[/caption]
The host asked Lynch: “Whatever happened to Christmas kindness?
“Why do you have to target people at Christmas?”
Lynch replied: “Well, we’re not targeting Christmas – it isn’t Christmas yet, Richard.
“I don’t know when your Christmas starts but mine starts on Christmas Eve.”
As the host tried to interject, the union boss went on: “If you let me finish the question, if you let me finish the answer.
“Richard, you’re just talking to yourself at the minute – you’re ranting. Richard, you’re ranting.”
Unimpressed viewers accused Madeley of not giving his interviewee enough of a chance to respond.
The pair crossed swords again in April 2023 when Madeley began by asking Lynch whether he was a Marxist, adding: “Because if you are a Marxist then you’re into revolution and bringing down capitalism.
“So are you or aren’t you?”
The RMT general secretary hit back by saying: “Richard, you do come up with the most remarkable twaddle sometimes, I’ve got to say.
“Opening an interview with that is nonsense.”
Madeley himself responded by insisting: “Woah, woah, woah – I didn’t say you were a Marxist.
“I’m saying that you’re being accused of being a Marxist – that’s not twaddle, that’s called reporting.”
Arguing with Dr Hilary Jones over Covid
And he argued on-air with regular GMB contributor Dr Hilary Jones in July 2021.
Madeley accused his colleague of being too cautious, telling him: “But we have the vaccine and Australia hasn’t.”
When told vaccines didn’t offer “100 per cent protection”, Richard then claimed Dr Hilary was being “misleading”.
Susanna said: “I will carry on wearing masks in any enclosed environment, like the supermarket.”
But Richard insisted: “I don’t want to wear a mask anymore – I’m not comfortable, I don’t like it.”
Richard asked the doctor: “You’re going to agree, aren’t you?”
The presenter went on to say restrictions should be lifted after the development of vaccines which had “broken the link between Covid and hospitalisations and deaths”.
Hitler Youth remarks
Richard told Susanna: “There’s one interesting point that I was thinking about last night.
“Obviously we had the Nuremberg trials after the war and we hanged quite a few Nazis and we imprisoned a lot of others and let them out eventually.
“But we didn’t go after the Hitler Youth, as far as I’m aware – we didn’t go after the Hitler youth, we only went after adults who served in the Hitler regime.
“That’s just something to reflect on, I think.”
Madeley has often been likened to Steve Coogan‘s gaffe-prone TV presenter character Alan Partridge and this rant prompted similar suggestions from viewers including BBC Radio 1 host Greg James and comedian David Baddiel.
When asked how he felt about the comparison, Richard has previously said: “If people want to take the p**s, that’s fine – it’s a harmless joke.
“I can take it. I don’t take myself even remotely seriously. I know some people do, and they get offended by being teased — but it’s only teasing.”