GMB hit with 140 Ofcom complaints over Patsy Palmer interview

GMB hit with 140 Ofcom complaints over Patsy Palmer interview

Good Morning Britain is hit with more than 140 Ofcom complaints after Patsy Palmer was branded ‘an ex addict’ during interview

  • The broadcast watchdog logged 144 complaints over the interview with the ex EastEnders star, 48, on March 17
  • Patsy shut down a video call from her Malibu home after taking exception to the ITV show’s strap line which read ‘addict turned wellness guru’ 
  • After receiving backlash for her actions on social media, Patsy angrily told ‘trolls and haters’ to ‘go f**k themselves’ for judging her 
  • Hosts Ben Shephard and Susanna Reid apologised to Patsy on air for the offending strap line 

Good Morning Britain has been hit with more than 140 Ofcom complaints after viewers took umbrage with the show labelling Patsy Palmer an ‘ex addict’.

The broadcast watchdog logged 144 complaints in total over the interview with the former EastEnders star. 

Patsy, 48, was so furious when then ITV show’s strap line read ‘addict turned wellness guru’ she terminated her interview early. 

Backlash: Good Morning Britain has been hit with more than 140 Ofcom complaints after viewers took umbrage with the show labelling Patsy Palmer an ‘ex addict’

And it appears viewers watching at home also felt the strap line was uncalled for and expressed their disapproval by complaining to Ofcom.  

It was reported last week that GMB bosses have held a crisis meeting over the handling of the interview after Patsy stormed off the show.   

Producers were reportedly concerned about the programme’s reputation following the awkward interview. 

Offended: The broadcast watchdog logged 144 complaints in total over the interview with the former EastEnders star

‘I’m doing a Piers!’: Patsy, 48, was so furious when then ITV show’s strap line read ‘addict turned wellness guru’ she terminated her interview early

A source told The Sun: ‘On Thursday, the GMB production team were summoned to a meeting about the handling of Patsy’s chat.

‘Her interview was viewed as a disaster as obviously upsetting anyone is the last thing anyone would want. 

‘It was made clear to some members of the team that this was a crisis meeting as there were issues that needed addressing quickly.’ 

MailOnline has contacted a representative for ITV for a comment.  

Compliants: It appears viewers watching at home also felt the strap line was uncalled for and expressed their disapproval by complaining to Ofcom

A day prior to the reported meeting, the ex-soap star hit back after she declared she was ‘doing a Piers’ and shut down the interview, ranting ‘my issues I had years ago were talked about by me many, many years ago and it’s over’.

Hosts Ben Shephard and Susanna Reid apologised to Patsy on air for the offending strap line, but explained ‘addict to wellness guru’, was a quote she used herself in her 2007 book All of Me: Love, Life and Addiction.  

Patsy wrote on her Instagram page after the show aired: ‘My apologies to anyone that wants to hear good news as I have great faith that considering what is going on in the world right now there are still some people that do.

‘I keep seeing people saying “get over yourself”, I have gotten over my old self years ago and no longer wish to discuss it when I only have five minutes air time. I have been a people pleaser my whole life.’

Not happy: During her appearance on GMM, Pasty shut down the video interview, saying her her 20-year battle with drink and drugs was ‘many, many years ago’

Patsy, whose move to America was compared to Harry and Meghan’s during the chat, said it wasn’t her place to report on other people’s lives. 

She continued: ‘I was supposed to be on there to talk about my new business that I have created that couldn’t be more opposite to that headline.  

‘For all of the trolls and haters and people on here judging me, GO F**K YOURSELVES. I’ve worked hard on myself to remove negativity from my life and the lives of my children.

‘So if anyone has a problem with that you need to go and take a look at your lives and wonder what drives you to jump on here to attack me for standing my ground.

Following his lead: Moments after starting the interview, Patsy declared she was ‘doing a Piers Morgan’, after the former host stormed off the show before quitting his GMB role entirely

‘If you are parents doing that the shame on you. I hope you find some joy amidst all the madness.’ 

Moments after starting the interview, Patsy declared she was ‘doing a Piers Morgan’, after the former host stormed off the show during a debate with co-presenter Alex Beresford, before quitting his role on GMB entirely.

During the first few minutes the chat, the hosts quizzed Patsy on her decision to leave the UK for the U.S – but things quickly turned sour when Patsy noticed the programme’s strap line. 


Statement: After receiving backlash online, Patsy angrily told the ‘trolls and haters’ to ‘go f**k themselves’ for judging her, after ‘working hard to remove negativity from her life’

Kicking off the interview, Ben asked: ‘Did you move to get away from people shouting ‘Ricky’ at you in the street?’ 

Patsy replied: ‘Um, not really not just for that reason, maybe one of them.’

Susanna then asked: ‘You have done what Meghan and Harry did which is get away from the UK, to go off to California and set up a new life. 

‘And I know you’ve spoken out about Meghan and Harry before, I wonder if you do get more privacy over there?’

Patsy said: ‘I think you do…You know what actually I’m not, I don’t even want to do this interview because I don’t even want to look at what it says at the bottom of that screen.

Furious: Patsy shared a second post later in which she urged people to ‘grow and live happy lives’ 

‘I’m going to switch off, do a real Piers Morgan and say it’s not ok to have ”addict to wellness guru” on the bottom of the screen. You know, my issues I had years ago that were talked about by me many, many years ago and it’s over.’

Ben replied: ‘So sorry about that Patsy. Huge apologies, it wasn’t our intention to upset you, that’s obviously a quote from Patsy’s book, and as she’s talked about in the past.’ 

While Susanna added: ‘Well that’s a terrible shame, our apologies to Patsy.’

Reaction: Bewildered fans who were watching the show live took to Twitter to comment on Patsy’s decision to suddenly leave the interview

After Patsy quit the interview, Ben explained that the strap line shown was a quote from Patsy herself – taken from her autobiography.

Ben said: ‘That’s a quote from her book, and she’s promoting a wellness brand, but we are sorry Patsy.’

While Susanna added: ‘I have no idea that was on the screen. Our apologies to Patsy, she’s entitled not to do the interview and we just carry on.’  

Patsy shot to stardom as market trader Bianca Jackson aged 21, where she found on-screen love with Ricky Butcher, and also found a place in the hearts of the nation.  

However off screen, Patsy began struggling with a party hard lifestyle where she would binge on alcohol, cocaine and ecstasy.

The TV star has previously admitted to trying alcohol at eight, sniffing solvents at 11 and even snorting cocaine at just 13.  

Patsy, who has been teetotal since 2004, has been married twice; firstly to filmmaker Nick Love for five months in 1998.

She went on to marry her husband Richard Merkell in 2000 and the couple now share children Fenton, 20, Emilia, 19, and Bertie, 10.

From Walford to Malibu: Patsy Palmers’s journey from soap star to wellness guru 

Patsy Palmer – whose real name is Julie Merkell – first rose to prominence in 1993 as Bianca Jackson in BBC soap EastEnders.

When she joined the cast of EastEnders, Patsy was a single mother living with her son Charley, now 29, from her relationship with with boxer Alfie Rothwell.

During her time acting on the show, Patsy was briefly married to filmmaker Nick Love in 1998. 

The soap star appeared as her character between 1993–1999, before turning in 2008 until 2014, and again in 2019.

She was set to return once again the following year, however the pandemic halted plans for her to reprise her role as Bianca.

Patsy first appeared on TV in The Gentle Touch in 1984 and then in 1985, when she played Natasha in the children’s drama series, Grange Hill, until 1987.

The TV star, who was born and grew up in Bethnal Green, East London, has previously spoken candidly about her troubled childhood.

She has previously admitted to trying alcohol at eight, sniffing solvents at 11 and even snorting cocaine at just 13.

It was Patsy’s mother who first spotted her acting talent and encouraged her to go to acting school in London. Patsy was bullied at school acting was a form of escape for her.

When she joined the cast of EastEnders, Patsy was a single mother living with her son Charley (pictured)

During her first stint on EastEnders, Bianca’s on-screen marriage to Ricky Butcher [Sid Owen] in 1997 drew one of the biggest soap audiences ever, more than 22 million.

Patsy returned the show for a two-hour special in 2002, where she was reunited with her on-screen beau Ricky in Manchester for the first time in two years.

In 2005, she hit out at the soap and branded its storylines ‘ridiculous’ and ruled out a return to the show, before reprising her role again in 2008.

Patsy’s autobiography was released in the UK on 5 April 2007. In the book, she described her ascent to fame, her struggle with addiction and how she battled to overcome her problems.

The media personality credits some of her drug and drink recovery to husband Richard Merkell, who she married in 2000.

She previously said: ‘He’s given me what I’ve always really wanted – a real family.’

Not long after she married Richard, Patsy gave birth to their first child together, a boy named Fenton, on June 13, 2000.

She quickly had her third child, and Richard’s second, on July 7, 2001 when they welcomed their daughter Emilia.

In December 2010 the couple had another child, a son called Bertie. 

Patsy’s autobiography was released in the UK on 5 April 2007

For 10 years, starting in 2004, she lived with her husband and children in Western Terrace and then Kemptown, Brighton, England.

In 2014 the family decided on a lifestyle change and moved their brood from Brighton to Malibu, where they still live now.

As well as making some very A-list pals including Camille Grammer and Cindy Crawford since moving stateside, Patsy has also discovered wellness and meditation.

Late last year, Patsy appeared to have swapped acting for a new passion, as she launched her new wellness page on Instagram, Good and Proper.

Patsy, who appeared to have taken inspiration from lifestyle guru Gwyneth Paltrow, encouraged her followers to ‘take time out’ on her new page.

On Twitter, Patsy posted: ‘I’ve just launched a new page on Instagram to support my new journey.. join me @goodandproperhair.

On her recovery, Patsy reflected ‘It feels so foreign now, I’m so far removed from it…’I couldn’t even do yoga when I was in my 20s because I couldn’t sit still. 

‘Right now is the happiest I’ve ever been. I’m always in the now and it’s the only place I want to be.’ 

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