GMB’s Richard Madeley says David Attenborough is ‘just a broadcaster’

TV viewers outraged as GMB’s Richard Madeley says David Attenborough is ‘not a saint, just a broadcaster’ in row with Extinction Rebellion protester

  • Veteran presenter, 62, was accused of ‘insulting’ the naturalist on today’s show
  • He was speaking to co-founder of protest group that is blocking roads in London 
  • After Dr Gail Bradbrook invoked naturalist he replied, ‘He’s not a saint you know’

Viewers were left outraged today after Good Morning Britain’s Richard Madeley interrupted an Extinction Rebellion protester to announce, ‘David Attenborough’s not a saint, just a broadcaster’.

The veteran presenter, 62, was accused of ‘insulting’ the renowned naturalist during a debate on the protests which brought parts of London to a standstill yesterday, and threaten to do so again today.

Extinction Rebellion co-founder Dr Gail Bradbrook looked close to tears as she spoke emotionally about the impact of climate change and how she feared her children would be left with nothing to eat.


Richard Madeley (left) was debating Extinction Rebellion co-founder Dr Gail Bradbrook today when he made the apparent swipe against Sir David Attenborough 

But Madeley sparked anger among GMB viewers on Twitter after pointedly interrupting her comments with a swipe at Sir David.

Dr Bradbrook said: ‘I have two boys, 10 and 13, and they won’t have enough food to eat in a few years’ time. Sir David Attenborough said the collapse of this civilisation could happen soon.’

Madeley replied: ‘He’s not a saint you know. He’s just a broadcaster.’

Extinction Rebellion protesters spent yesterday blocking roads and demonstrating outside tube stations, following five arrests outside Shell’s headquarters where they glued themselves to windows and smashed glass doors.

More than 110 people have been arrested in the last 24 hours as the activist group gears up for another day of chaos. Protesters have been moved from Waterloo Bridge, which was closed yesterday, and restricted to an area around Marble Arch.

Prior to her comments about David Attenborough, Dr Bradbrook apologised for the ‘disruption’.

Attenborough at a discussion on nature at an IMF meeting in Washington, DC, on April 11 

‘We’re here to get people to have a conversation about climate change,’ she said. ‘I don’t want to wind people up and I do apologise for the inconvenience caused, but you can hear the emotion in my voice.’

Madeley’s subsequent interruption went down badly with viewers, with one tweeting: ‘No Richard Madeley, Sir David Attenborough is NOT just a broadcaster he is a legend respected by many. What an insult.’

‘Glyn’ wrote: ‘I thought Piers Morgan was annoying, but Richard Madeley takes it to another level.

‘His patronising way of talking to the passionate climate change protester had me shouting at the TV. “David Attenborough is only a TV presenter”, no, you are only a TV presenter.’

And another viewer raged: ‘Richard Madeley describing Sir David Attenborough as “just a broadcaster” demands a public apology.’

But others defended Madeley, with viewer John Delaney writing: ‘Richard Madeley has cheered my day up. Hilarious…’

Madeley later backtracked after the break and said: ‘By the way, no disrespect intended whatsoever to David Attenborough. He’s peerless and a national treasure.’

Environmental protesters from the Extinction Rebellion group gather around a pink boat at Oxford Circus yesterday

Activists block a road near Marble Arch this morning on the second day of the protest by the Extinction Rebellion group today

The stand-in presenter is known for his Alan Partridge moments, of which there have been several of late.

Last week, he startled viewers with his dark orange fake tan, prompting Made In Chelsea star Mark-Francis Vandelli to ask whether or not he had been on holiday.

The presenter sheepishly admitted that he had recently been to the South of France, but that the bizarre colour of his face was down to ‘make-up’.

‘I was in the south of France for two weeks and came back a few days ago and I agree with you, it’s looking a bit orange,’ he said.

And yesterday, he swore on air having already turned the air blue twice the previous week.

He then issued a very saucy confession that he always goes commando and worries that he might flash his manhood by mistake. 

The demonstration left Waterloo Bridge scrawled with slogans including ‘big love’ and ‘stop climate change’ yesterday

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