Richard Medeley has provoked a furious reaction after he labelled an episode of Life Stories in which Sir Keir Starmer opened up about the death of his parents “embarrassing”.
The Good Morning Britain host went full Alan Partridge when talking to MP Jonathan Ashworth on the show today.
Following an emotional episode of Life Stories with Piers Morgan, he asked the shadow health secretary: “Were you embarrassed by his performance on the Piers Morgan programme? Because my toes curled.”
He added: “Seriously, it was a bit embarrassing. He’s got quite a lot on his plate at the moment and a lot to do, going on a talk show really. And crying. It was odd.”
Emotional television interview
Sir Keir shared some of his final memories of his mother during the emotional television interview with Morgan, which aired at the start of the month.
The Labour leader, 58, was teary-eyed as he opened up about his mother’s death a few weeks before he became an MP in 2015.
Sir Keir’s mother, Josephine, suffered with a rare condition called Still’s disease, which causes painful swelling in the joints.
When she died, he said: “My dad was totally devoted to her, and I remember being at home, and he phoned.
“And he said, ‘Your mum’s not going to make it, can you tell the others?’ and that hit me.”
Asked what he would have liked to say to his mother, the politician was visibly upset.
He replied: “I. Love. You.”
Rodney Starmer died in 2018, three years later.
Madeley has been criticised for his “disrespectful” comments, with many viewers saying the presenter “helped push the conversation” surrounding mental health “back a little”.
“Richard Madeley should be ashamed with himself for some of his comments during that interview,” one person wrote, with another adding: “I used to like you but on the show since Piers left you are a wannabe.”
Another added: “Richard Madeley said it’s ‘embarrassing’ that a man was on TV talking about his emotions & crying. Wow. It’s actually more embarrassing that people still have this opinion. Keir Starmer was talking about his mother’s illness & his family. So disrespectful of Richard.”
One angry viewer wrote: “According to Richard Madeley, it’s wrong for men to go on TV and cry. Very disappointed in your program today. It’s difficult for men to discuss mental health at the best of times but you have just helped push the conversation back a little.”
Earlier this year Madeley was among an all-male panel as Loose Women rebranded as Loose Men for a day to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week.
The special episode of the ITV show was hosted by Madeley and featued dancer Jordan Banjo, TV judge Robert Rinder and singer and actor Martin Kemp on the panel.
At the time he said: “It’s no secret that men find it harder than women to speak about our emotions so I’m looking forward to finding out what happens when us guys open up about things we usually shy away from.”
We had to add this classic from Madeley here!
Presented without comment pic.twitter.com/CFLeR6X4UK— Alice Tew (@BuckinghamAlice) June 7, 2021