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GMB host Richard Madeley criticised for calling Keir Starmer’s emotional Piers Morgan interview ‘embarrassing’

Labour leader welled up while discussing the death of his mother

Jacob Stolworthy
Tuesday 15 June 2021 09:26
Richard Madeley compared to Alan Partridge after GMB appearance

Richard Madeley is receiving criticism for calling Sir Keir Starmer’s emotional Life Stories episode “embarrassing”.

The broadcaster, who co-presented Good Morning Britain alongside Susanna Reid on Tuesday (15 June), said that his “toes curled” as he watched the show, in which Starmer became upset discussing the death of his mother, Josephine.

The Labour MP appeared on the ITV series earlier this month. During his appearance, he said he didn’t get to tell his mother everything he wanted to before she died.

Starmer was clearly upset and, when host Piers Morgan asked him what he would have liked to say to her, he replied: “I love you.”

Madeley raised the subject of the episode during an interview with MP Jonathan Ashworth, saying: “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.”

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.”

Sir Keir Starmer discussed the death of his mother on ‘Pier’s Morgan’s Life Stories’

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.”

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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.”

Starmer’s mother suffered from a rare condition called Still’s disease, which causes painful swelling in the joints.

ITV has been contacted for comment.

You can find helpful tips on how to start a conversation, or if you are worried about someone else, on Samaritans website. You can contact the Samaritans helpline by calling 116 123. The helpline is free and open 24 hours a day every day of the year. You can also contact Samaritans by emailing The average response time is 24 hours.

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