Richard Madeley has been slammed by Good Morning Britain viewers over a remark he made to Eddie the Eagle.
The TV presenter was back on the ITV news program on Monday alongside Ranvir Singh, who is stepping in for Susanna Reid during the half-term break.
One of the topics on today’s show was the Winter Olympics and particularly Great Britain’s performance at the games.
So far, Team GB hasn’t secured any medals in Beijing with less than a week to go before the games come to an end.
READ MORE: ITV Good Morning Britain’s Ranvir Singh says there’s ‘sadness’ in studio as she pays emotional tribute to late crew member
This led to GMB debating whether funding for the Winter Olympics should stop, asking if the attempt is worth the money when it comes to competitive sport, or if it is just all about winning.
Richard and Ranvir were joined by Eddie the Eagle, whose real name is Michael David Edwards, and Gail Emms, a former Olympic badminton player.
Eddie was the first English ski-jumper and Olympian who in 1988 became the first competitor since 1928 to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping.
However, the sportsman came last but held the British ski jumping record from 1988 to 2001.
While Gail argued whether it was worth all the money being invested into it, Eddie said “we should be spending double the amount on our athletes.”
But it was comments that Richard made that sparked a reaction from GMB viewers.
“I suppose one of the issues here, which is at play, which we have not really talked about, is that Britain loves a valiant loser,” he started.
“And when we get beaten, and when we get beaten in arenas like the Winter Olympics, we do not take it as hard as some other countries.
“We don’t beat ourselves up about it.”
Richard continued to his guest: “I mean, Eddie, you have had half a lifetime or more to reflect on what happened to you at your Winter Olympics.
“Looking back at it now… trying to analyze it now… why do you think your conspicuous lack of success, I mean your near uselessness really, made you a star?”
Eddie laughed before replying: “I think it had a lot to do with the fact I came 58th. There were a lot of other things happening at the same time.”
Viewers were soon taking to social media to have their say.
@Happyboomer60 tweeted: “Did Richard Madeley really just tell Eddie the Eagle he was useless? When was the last time you took part in the Olympics Richard Madeley. Rude #gmb.”
“That was utterly disrespectful and down right bloody rude #RichardMadeley!! Eddie entertained millions of us in his Winter Olympics – your comment that he was “near uselessness” was completely unnecessary #GMB,” @Jools_T fumed.
@JohnEllisPhoto shared: “Richard going full on Partridge, being inexcusably rude. Eddie took it in his stride, probably one of the reasons why the country likes the man. #GMB #alanpartridge #WinterOlympics.”
“Bit harsh saying Eddie’s ‘near useless’ Richard? #GMB,” @LindaAllenLA added.
The conversation on the program did, however, spark a debate among its viewers.
@Huddster68R said: “A complete an utter waste of money – it seems that we are just making up the numbers and not even competitive. Money could be spent elsewhere with better uses – We all know where!”
Whereas @DadTaxi1 argued: “Bit of a short sighted view. The money provided for all sports is to give people the opportunity to be able to have the chance to compete and there can only be one winner or 3 medallists. What if you have an off day when you’re supposed to win? You don’t get funded again?”
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