Richard Madeley infuriates GMB viewers by calling junior doctors ‘apprentices’

Richard Madeley said 'junior doctors are in effect apprentices'

Watch Richard Madeley call junior doctors 'apprentices'

What did you miss?

Richard Madeley irritated Good Morning Britain viewers on Wednesday when he said "junior doctors are in effect apprentices" during a discussion about the NHS strike.

Tens of thousands of patients face their care being axed from Wednesday. The junior doctor strike is expected to last six days and it will be the longest walk out in the 75-year history of the NHS. Junior doctors want a 35% pay rise, having rejected the 10% offer.

Things got tense on Good Morning Britain as show guest Ash Sarkar had no qualms challenging Madeley for using the phrase "apprentices" when referring to junior doctors. His comments also infuriated viewers who shared their annoyance on social media platform X.

Richard Madeley called junior doctors 'apprentices' on Good Morning Britain. (ITV screengrab)
Richard Madeley called junior doctors 'apprentices' on Good Morning Britain. (ITV screengrab)

What, how and why?

Madeley said: "What about the point that a lot of people make, that junior doctors are in effect apprentices? Lots of juniors in professions don’t get paid very much, but over the horizon, there are big bucks on offer."

His words sparked anger from Good Morning Britain guest Ash Sarkar. She hit back at the TV host saying: "Just on a point of fact, they're not apprentices. They're fully qualified."

Fellow Good Morning Britain host Susanna Reid intervened to try and cool down the situation when she pointed out that junior doctors are not "doctors in training", which she said they were called by health secretary Victoria Atkins last week.

Sarkar agreed and added: "Regardless of what you call them, they are fully qualified doctors. A doctor in training, a junior doctor, these are people who are responsible for high quality care. It just means they haven't specialised."

Junior doctors debate on Good Morning Britain. (ITV screengrab)
Junior doctors debate on Good Morning Britain. (ITV screengrab)

Madeley's comparison angered many viewers on social media who took to X to share their frustrations over him calling junior doctors "apprentices". One person wrote: "FFS Richard Madeley on GMB has just called junior Doctors apprentices!!!!"

Among the comments, another person commented: "Richard Madeley trending yet again I see. This time for disparaging comments on junior doctors. It's a case of one embarrassing gaffe after another with that bloke. Can't comprehend how he's still somehow on mainstream TV."

"Richard Madeley just called fully qualified doctors "apprentices" on GMB." Another added. "Does Richard Madeley legitimately think that junior doctors are apprentices? That's a big mischaracterisation."

Others added: "Did Richard Madeley really call junior doctors 'apprentices'?"

"Richard Madeley on GMB TV called junior doctors 'apprentice doctors'. Tories will love that."

What else happened on Good Morning Britain?

Madeley and Reid also interviewed Alex Batty who is back in the UK six years after he vanished on a Spanish holiday with his mum and grandfather. Now he has been reunited with his grandmother, who feared she would never see him again.

In his TV interview, he said: "I had thoughts of leaving back to England when I was 14. I talked to my mother and granddad about leaving for the first time when I was 16. My mum it was an absolute no-go from her. My granddad wanted me to do what was best for my life."

Beatty said he was "certain" about wanting to come home to the UK. He explained: "It was a very quick decision for that day. I realised it was time. It was probably around 7 o'clock I realised I got to go... It's not a lifestyle you want to be living at all."

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