Good Morning Britain viewers mock ‘ironic’ Richard Madeley remarks during shoplifting debate

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Richard Madeley has been mocked following a discussion about shoplifting on Good Morning Britain.

Slamming the prevalence of shoplifting on Britain’s high streets, the GMB host referred to a thief at his local Boots who made off with a swathe of pregnancy tests.

But viewers called the discussion “ironic” as Madeley was previously held himself for shoplifting charges before being acquitted in the early 1990s.

He later remarked on the unfortunate situation: “I was just not concentrating. I put the food through the till, I forgot to take the champagne out... I can joke about it now”.

The remarks came as co-presenter Susanna Reid discussed her experience of seeing someone stealing a “a load of meals” and walking straight out of the shop while staff did nothing.

Madeley joined in to say: “Your sense of disbelief, I totally share because I was in Boots a few weeks ago and there was a guy, very efficiently clearing a bottom shelf of pregnancy testing kits. Just scooping them up into a big, sort of plastic carrier.

“And I thought, oh he’s obviously staff, he’s changing stock, then as you said in your story, he stood up and walked out with them. And I said exactly the same.”

Viewers were left unimpressed with the discussion and joked: “The irony of Richard Madeley talking about shoplifting”.

Others remarked on his talking over his co-presenter saying, “He didn’t ‘join in’, he interrupted the only woman on the panel who was speaking at the time”.

In 1994, the Good Morning Britain host was arrested for failing to pay for items on two occasions, including for a bottle of champagne, at a Tesco supermarket in Walkden, Greater Manchester. However, a jury later found him not guilty of the offence.

In an interview with The Sun in October last year, Madeley said he was grateful the incident had not happened after the invention of X/Twitter, because he could have been “cancelled”.

Richard Madeley faced criticism for his discussion of shoplifting (ITV)
Richard Madeley faced criticism for his discussion of shoplifting (ITV)

In an interview with The Guardian in 2008, he said: “I was just not concentrating. I put the food through the till, I forgot to take the champagne out. It was, I can handle anything, I can juggle eight balls in the air, and actually I came a horrible cropper. I can joke about it now.

“But that year was horrible. The publicity was mortifying. If I’d been accused of robbing a bank, at least it’s got a bit of glamour to it, but fucking shoplifting... It’s like w****** in a public toilet. Just horrible.”

One viewer attempted to be reasonable and said: “To be fair and in his defence the case was thrown out when it got to court. And I totally get when you’re really distracted…. Surprised I’ve actually not done it. Head is mince at times.”