Alison Hammond has been praised for her quick shutdown of Cliff Richard after the singer made fat-shaming comments This morning.
Singer Richard, 83, appeared on the ITV breakfast show on Monday (November 20) to talk about his six-decade career in the entertainment industry, including being inspired by American singer Elvis Presley.
When asked by temporary co-host Sarah Ferguson if he had ever met Presley, the “Summer Holiday” singer raised eyebrows when he said he once recently turned down a photo with the “Jailhouse Rock” star in the 1970s Years when “he had gained a lot of weight.”
Richard told presenters Hammond, Dermot O’Leary and Sarah Ferguson: “I once had a chance through a journalist when I was promoting Devil Woman in the US. He said, “Oh, I know Elvis.” He knew I was influenced [by him]. “
However, after being offered the opportunity to meet Presley, Richard said he told the journalist, “Can we put this off?” Because he had gained a lot of weight and I thought, ‘If I take a picture with him and put it on my fridge hangs, it has to look good’.”
Richard, whose songs include “Congratulations” and “The Millennium Prayer,” added: “I put it off and then of course he died.”
Hammond called Richard out on his comment, telling the singer: “You never should have put it off just because they were a little heavier.”
Richard appeared unaware of the offensive nature of his comments, saying: “If you’re a fan of someone, meet them – even if they’ve gained weight.”
An undeterred Hammond continued to casually interrupt Richard’s comments and shot back: “Is that why you don’t want me at your house?”
Hammond has now been praised for her composed response, which she delivered quickly before continuing the interview as usual.
Author Duncan Lindsay praised Hammond for “handling it so well,” while his colleague Elliot Gonzalez added, “Gosh, she handled it well, but she didn’t have to.” Such an insensitive comment no matter who he was talking to.”
@betbinch wrote of the exchange: “Alison handled this perfectly,” and @KimEdwards48 said: “I thought Alison’s response was brilliant.”
The Independent asked Richard for comment.