ENTERTAINMENT
14/04/2020 09:45 BST | Updated 14/04/2020 12:17 BST

Ofcom Assessing This Morning 'As A Priority' After Eamonn Holmes' Comments About 5G And Coronavirus

The media regulator received more than 400 complaints after Eamonn appeared to defend a theory that 5G caused coronavirus.

Ofcom has said it is assessing an incident during Monday’s This Morning “as a priority” after presenter Eamonn Holmes appeared to defend a theory that 5G was responsible for the coronavirus outbreak.

The media regulator received 419 complaints from viewers in less than 24 hours, after Eamonn was heard saying: “I totally agree with everything you’re saying, but what I don’t accept is mainstream media immediately slapping that down as not true, when they don’t know it’s not true.

“No one should attack or damage or do anything like that, but it’s very easy to say it is not true because it suits the state narrative. That’s all I would say as someone with an inquiring mind.”

Eamonn was criticised by viewers and multiple scientists over his remarks, as the theory in question had already been debunked, with an Ofcom rep telling HuffPost UK: “We are assessing this programme in full as a priority.”

ITV
Eamonn shared his views during Monday's edition of This Morning

At the beginning of Tuesday’s morning, shortly after Ofcom’s announcement, Eamonn read a short statement clarifying his comments, and suggesting what he said “may have” been “misinterpreted”.

He explained: “I want to clarify some comments that some of you may have misinterpreted from me yesterday, around conspiracy theories and coronavirus and this involved the roll out of 5G.

“Both Alice Beer and myself agreed in a discussion on this very programme on fake news that it is not true that there is a connection between the present national health emergency and 5G and to suggest otherwise would be wrong and indeed it could be possibly dangerous.

“Every theory relating to such a connection has been proven to be false and we would like to emphasise that.”

Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Eamonn Holmes pictured at an event in February

Eamonn continued: “However, many people are rightly concerned and are looking for answers, and that’s simply what I was trying to impart yesterday but for the avoidance of any doubt I want to make it clear there’s no scientific evidence to substantiate any of those 5G theories.”

The broadcaster previously hit back at one Twitter user who accused him of “spread[ing] the baseless 5G/Coronavirus conspiracy theory” shortly after the show aired, insisting: “I didn’t spread it.... I reserve the right to listen and question.”

Amanda Holden previously found herself at the centre of a similar controversy when a link to a petition suggesting 5G is linked to coronavirus appeared on her Twitter page earlier this month.

However, she insisted she had accidentally tweeted the link, and does not believe in 5G conspiracy theories.

“Amanda was sadly emailed a petition suggesting 5G is linked to coronavirus, did not know she’d accidentally tweeted a link to it, and does not believe in 5G conspiracies,” her rep said.

Last week, ITV received a warning from Ofcom about relying on “combative dynamics” between his presenters, after more than 1,600 people complained about an incident involving Piers Morgan.

This Morning airs every weekday from 10am on ITV.