Richard Madeley slammed for starvation comments during shoplifting debate

Richard Madeley slammed for starvation comments during shoplifting debate
Richard Madeley questions if people are starving to death in UK
Good Morning Britain, ITV

Richard Madeley, the Good Morning Britain presenter long compared to fictional character Alan Partridge for his countless gaffes and comments made on the ITV morning programme, has faced criticism once again for remarks on the show – this time questioning if people are actually starving in the UK.

The moment took place on Monday, when a campaigner from the group Everybody Eats – which calls for free school meals for every student, subsidised weekly food vouchers and mandatory food waste reporting for supermarkets – was interviewed about their “Robin Hood” action which took place over the weekend.

The term is used by the group to refer to their approach of taking food from supermarkets without paying, to donate them to food banks.

A Twitter/X thread from Everybody Eats, posted on Saturday, reads: “A food bank in Hastings was going to close until another "Robin Hood" action took place to save it. We've helped restock all their sites so they can now feed over 1000 people a week. Fantastic!”

Two days later, and Madeley was questioning the activist – named Luke – about the word “starving” used in their publicity materials, which he felt was “very strong”.

He said: “I mean, if you look up starving in the dictionary, it’s very clear. It’s a risk of imminent death.

“It’s not that bad, is it?”

When Luke responded to insist people were indeed starving, Madeley went further: “Starving to death? There haven’t been any inquests from anyone who’s starved to death.”

Luke then said: “Can I ask you though, what is your relation to poverty? What is your experience of poverty? Do you know anyone who’s struggling?”

It wasn’t Madeley who replied, but co-host Susanna Reid, who pointed out fellow guest Peter Bleksley – former detective of Channel 4’s Hunted fame – experienced poverty when he was growing up.

However, in addition to condemning Madeley for questioning whether people are starving amid a cost of living crisis, many noted the irony of the broadcaster discussing this subject when he was arrested for shoplifting – and later found not guilty by a jury - in 1994:

It’s not the first time that viewers have pointed out Madeley’s arrest, as the issue of shoplifting in supermarkets was also discussed on Good Morning Britain back in February.

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