GMB’s Richard Madeley under fire from furious viewers over ‘cruel’ interview

RICHARD Madeley came under fire today when he showed the daughter of an upset family whose dad was imprisoned in Iraq how much water he would receive.

Jim Fitton, 66, was handed a 15 year sentence in Iraq after collecting fragments during archaeology tour.

His daughter Leila and her husband Sam joined Richard and co-host Susanna Reid on Tuesday morning via video link.

During an archaeology visit, Mr Finn collected shards of broken pottery, but has insisted he had no idea he was breaking Iraqi laws when he was arrested at Baghdad International Airport in March.

Mr Finn was sentenced to a 15 years in prison under the country's antiquities law.

Leila appeared on the show to urge the government to help get him released – but was left too emotional to talk and immediately burst into tears.


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Her partner Sam discussed the horrific ordeal with the presenters.

Richard said he "did not want to distress" her – but detailed some of the appalling conditions in Iraq.

He said: “We know the conditions in Iraqi prisons are awful by and large. And one of the statistics to come out is horrific.”

Richard then held up a two litre bottle of water and explained the recommended daily intake according to the World Health Organisation.

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He then held up a much smaller 250 millilitre bottle for comparrison.

“This is routinely all that a prisoner gets in that 24 hour period," he said.

“Have you any more detailed knowledge of the kind of conditions he’s been kept in?”

“Obviously, the makeup of those prisons is hugely diverse.

"He will be in the same place as a variety of terrifying characters as far as we understand, so we are urging the government to support us in asking for Jim to be kept somewhere safe while the appeal is ongoing.”

Viewers were horrified that Richard had shown the distressed daughter how much water her father would get.

One wrote: "That was a bit cruel and thoughtless of Richard Madeley to show an already traumatised daughter how much water her father would get."

Another posted: "Richard Madeley is just the absolute worst. #GMB"

A third said: "Richard Madeley scaring the s*** out of the family with a water bottle show and tell #gmb"

"Woah, hats off to the empathy shown by Richard Madeley @richardm56 to the family of the guy in prison in Iraq by pointing out just how little water he’s being given per day," a fourth said.

Another echoed: "Richard doesn't think sometimes before he opens his mouth. @GMB"

A shocked viewer commented: "Richard Madeley is so insensitive! Poor girl, sobbing her heart out, and all he wants is the glory of a scoop!!!!! #GMB"

This isn't the first time that Richard has put his foot in it.

Last week he left Good Morning Britain fans choking on their breakfasts today when he asked an actress playing Queen Elizabeth I in a new drama a very awkward question.

German star Alicia von Rittberg plays the iconic Tudor queen during her younger years in the upcoming period drama.

Elizabeth was widely regarded as presiding over the birth of the British Empire and her 45-year reign is referred to as the Elizabethan era or the Golden Age.

She never married, and was so known as the "Virgin Queen" – although she was thought to have conducted relationships which may have contradicted her percieved virginal status.

Today, Good Morning Britain viewers were left baffled after Richard, 66, asked Alicia, 28, a bizarre question about the historical figure.

He wanted to know Alicia's opinion on the theory that the Queen had many sexual partners, and bluntly asked: "Was she a virgin?"

Alicia blushed red, before raising her eyebrows and replied: "Well, who knows?!"

She admitted she didn't know but from research into Elizabeth's childhood she suspected the Queen feared public relationships.

She added: "I can very much see her from what she went through and her childhood was so hard, and so painful, that I can imagine she wanted to be seen as the Virgin Queen when she was older, so it was a choice."

Viewers took to Twitter and compared Richard to fictional radio host Alan Partridge, played by actor Steve Coogan.

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One said: "TVs Richard Madeley needs to know if Elizabeth 1st was really a virgin #GMB channelling Alan again"

Another said: "Richard Madeley’s “Was she a virgin?” is top level cringe 😬😵‍💫"

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