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- British television presenter
Madeley and his co-host Susanna Reid interviewed Winter Thomas, a 20-year-old survivor of the blaze that ripped through a New York apartment building last night (9 January).
During the interview, Thomas recounted how she and her mother and sister managed to escape the fire from their ninth-storey apartment and described how she saw many dead children.
Thomas said: “I looked out the window and as soon as I turned my head to the window there were flames coming up my window, black smoke.”
Madeley then questioned Thomas about how she had seen people jump from the building to try and escape the fire.
She answered: “It was like something out of a movie. Kids were jumping out the window. From the ninth floor, they were jumping out the window. I’ve never seen so many dead bodies in my life. I saw dead people and kids lying dead on the floor.”
Thomas also described her previous traumatic experiences around fires as she had previously moved home for fire safety reasons.
Many GMB viewers later took to social media to criticise Madeley’s handling of the interview.
“Richard Madeley‘s questioning of this poor girl about the fire is awful,” one viewer wrote.
Another tweeted: “Am I the only person who thinks it’s completely inappropriate to be questioning this young girl after the New York fires? Poor thing is completely traumatised and she’s getting asked specifics!”
One said: “I really don’t think this interview is appropriate. This young lady is clearly traumatised by the fire.”
“Richard Madeley the man with a sensitivity bypass and permanent line in verbal diarrhoea,” one viewer complained. “Complete and utter embarrassment, with zero interview technique.
Please get rid of Richard Madeley and never let him near an interview again #GMB
— Berg (@BergstoolSports) January 10, 2022
Today’s episode is Madeley’s first appearance on Good Morning Britain since his stint on I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here. He withdrew from the reality show after only four days after falling ill.
The Independent has contacted ITV for comment.