01/04/2016 15:38 BST | Updated 01/04/2016 16:19 BST

Denise Robertson Dead: Richard Madeley's 'This Morning' Tribute Draws Criticism Over Ronnie Corbett Comparison

'It hasn’t come with the blindsided shock that poor Ronnie Corbett’s death hit everyone with.'

Richard Madeley has come under fire for his tribute to 'This Morning' agony aunt Denise Robertson, over comparisons he made to Ronnie Corbett's death. 

News of Denise's death was announced to 'This Morning' viewers during Friday's (1 April) show, less than 24 hours after the fans learned that legendary comic Ronnie had passed away.

Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Richard Madeley has come under fire from 'This Morning' viewers

As Richard and his wife Judy called into the show they presented together from 1988 until 2001, to pay their respects, Richard made a comment which has been lambasted by some critics. 

"[It is] a very sad day," he said. "Although as Phil said, we could all see it coming, so it hasn’t come with the blindsided shock that poor Ronnie Corbett’s death hit everyone with yesterday."

He continued: "But yes, it is incredibly sad, but, as always with larger than life characters like Denise, quite joyous, as it gives us the chance to look back at an incredible life well lived."

Chris Jackson via Getty Images
Denise Robertson lost a short battle with cancer, aged 83

Richard was referencing the fact that Denise had previously announced that she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, while Ronnie had kept his battle with motor neuron disease a secret from fans. 

The tactless remark came under fire from fans, with many taking to Twitter to air their views: 

The emotionally-charged show also saw Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield call in from their holidays to honour Denise, as did former host Fern Britton.

Fiona Hanson/PA Wire
News of Ronnie Corbett's death was announced on Wednesday

Eamonn Holmes, who recently underwent a double hip replacement, returned to ‘This Morning’ early from his sick leave, so he could front the show with his wife Ruth Langsford, having known Denise personally for over 30 years.

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