Richard Madeley has apologised after he downplayed a reader’s concerns that their neighbour could be suffering domestic violence in his newspaper advice column.
The former This Morning presenter, who writes an agony uncle column for the Telegraph, said he had misjudged the tone and content of the piece and was “so annoyed” with himself.
The 64-year-old added that he had since reached out to a number of people to apologise and would address the issue in his next Saturday column.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Richard said: “Hi everyone. My critics 2day are absolutely right – I misjudged this one, tonally and in content. SO annoyed with self.
“Have reached out this afternoon 2 various people to apologise+will address it in Saturday’ paper.”
He concluded his statement with the Latin phrase “mea culpa” meaning “through my fault”.
On Saturday, the broadcaster replied to a letter from an anonymous reader titled ‘What shall I do about my noisy nocturnal neighbours?’, in which they described hearing “bangs and crashes and shouting” coming from the neighbouring property “most nights”.
They also wrote: “Due to the strange nightly activity and fighting, I feel conflicted, as things just don’t seem right.”
They continued: “I worry that something could come to light in the future and I would feel guilty because I did nothing, despite a gut feeling that things are not right.”
In his response, Richard suggested that “if some sort of serious abuse was involved you’d have noticed it (in the form of black eyes, cut lips and the like, or late night visits from the police after drunken 999 calls)”.
He added: “You could try [that]; a polite, controlled ‘intervention’. But I’d stop worrying that things ‘aren’t right’. ’If they were going to kill each other, they’d have done it by now.”
Richard was criticised on social media, including by figures from charity groups including Standing Together Against Domestic Violence and Refuge after a photo of the piece began circulating on social media on Monday.
If you, or someone you know, is in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police. If you are not in immediate danger, you can contact:
- The Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, run by Refuge: 0808 2000 247
- In Scotland, contact Scotland’s 24 hour Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline: 0800 027 1234
- In Northern Ireland, contact the 24 hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline: 0808 802 1414
- In Wales, contact the 24 hour Life Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800.
- National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 999 5428
- Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327
- Respect helpline (for anyone worried about their own behaviour): 0808 802 0321