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Ed Balls in tears as he tells Gareth Gates that the SAS star inspired him

The GMB presenter and the Celebrity SAS winner shared an emotional hug as they bonded over how they have overcome their stammers.

Watch Ed Balls break down in tears as he tells Gareth Gates he inspired him to go public with his stammer

What did you miss?

Teary-eyed Ed Balls thanked Gareth Gates for being his inspiration on Good Morning Britain on Wednesday.

The former Labour politician and the Celebrity SAS winner bonded live on the show as they shared their experiences of coping with public speaking when they have a stammer.

TV presenter Balls told Gates he is his role model in an emotional conversation on the GMB sofa and co-host Susanna Reid encouraged them to hug it out.

Ed Balls said Gareth Gates inspired him on Good Morning Britain (ITV screengrab)
Ed Balls told Gareth Gates he had inspired him to be in the public eye. (ITV screengrab)

Ed Balls and Gareth Gates shared an emotional hug in GMB. (ITV)
Ed Balls and Gareth Gates shared an emotional hug in GMB. (ITV)

What, how, and why?

Gates, 39, was on the ITV breakfast show to discuss winning the latest series of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins and continuing to pursue a TV career despite struggling with a speech impediment since he was a child.

The singer rose to fame on TV talent show Pop Idol in 2002, moving the judges and viewers with his audition in which he struggled to even introduce himself through his stutter, but then burst out into a powerful rendition of Flying Without Wings by Westlife.

Balls, 56, first stood for election as an MP in 2004 and then was diagnosed with a stammer in adulthood after he began to struggle with public speaking.

Ed Balls had tears in his eyes (ITV screengrab)
Ed Balls had tears in his eyes (ITV screengrab)

Balls told Gates: "You inspired me. I thought if Gareth Gates can do this then I can too. And if he can be public, I can be public too. And it was really hard but you showed me how to do it."

Gates replied: "Thank you, thank you for saying that. It means a lot."

Reid commented: "I feel a privilege to be here in between you both because clearly it's a really influential moment. I know it was hard for you Ed, and when Gareth is able to be that open about it..."

Balls then began to cry, and Gates said: "Oh bless you."

Reid exclaimed: "I feel like - can you have a hug? There's nothing to be ashamed about. Be proud - it's part of your identity."

Gates told Balls "You're a role model for me now. For you to be doing this is incredible."


What else happened on Good Morning Britain?

Pop Idol Concert, London, Britain - Apr 2002, Gareth Gates And Will Young (Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images)
Gareth Gates admitted his stammer helped him find success on Pop Idol. (Getty Images)

Gates admitted he would not have his success without his stammer.

Gates said: "As a child, having a speech impediment was a very negative thing for me.

"But then as soon as I went on Pop Idol it was actually the thing that made me stand out from the crowd. I was actually pleased that I had a stammer then because it put me on the map as it were."

Balls agreed: "To any child or parent of a child with a stammer - actually I couldn't have done what I've done in life without the stammer. I'd choose to have it, because it's made me. And that's a really important thing to say to people."

Ed Balls hosts Good Morning Britain. (ITV)
Ed Balls and Gareth Gates agreed their stammers made them the people they are. (ITV)

Gates was runner-up to Will Young on Pop Idol and has gone on to have a successful singing career in pop music and on the West End stage.

He has appeared on reality shows including Dancing On Ice and The Big Reunion and regularly performs in pantomime.

Good Morning Britain airs on ITV from 6am to 9am from Monday to Friday.


Read more: Gareth Gates and Ed Balls

Watch: Ed Balls opens up on overcoming stammer