Julia Hartley-Brewer has defended LBC’s Steve Allen saying that he was ‘entitled’ to call Strictly Come Dancing star Tilly Ramsay a ‘chubby little thing’ on his show.
The Talk Radio presenter, 53, claimed on Thursday’s episode of This Morning: ‘The issue is weight and teenage girls and obesity is a concern to doctors.’
But viewers were quick to disagree online as many took to Twitter to call Julia ‘totally out of order’ and question ‘why can’t people just be kind?’
Controversial: Julia Hartley Brewer has defended LBC’s Steve Allen saying that he was ‘entitled’ to call Strictly Come Dancing star Tilly Ramsay a ‘chubby little thing’ on his show
Julia claimed during a video call interview on the show: ‘Steve Allen is entitled to say what they want to say.
‘The issue is weight and teenage girls and obesity is a concern to doctors. Obviously, a personal dig isn’t nice’.
Steve said of Tilly earlier this week: ‘I’m bored of her already. She’s a chubby little thing isn’t she. Have you noticed? Probably her dad’s cooking I should imagine.’
Tilly then responded to the savage remarks with a lengthy Instagram post where revealed that she was ‘learning to accept’ herself but had still been left ‘hurt’ by the shocking remarks.
‘The issue is weight and teenage girls and obesity is a concern to doctors. Obviously, a personal dig isn’t nice,’ Julia claimed of the remarks towards Tilly (pictured on Strictly)
Fans quickly took to Twitter to rush to the 19-year-old’s defence as they criticised Julia’s controversial opinion.
One fumed: ‘All this woman on This Morning is defending some kn*b on the radio making fun of Tilly Ramsay’s weight. Get Gordon on the radio to ask him about it, but best be sure to get your sh*tting pants on first – kn*bheads. The poor girl is 19!’
Another added: ‘That radio presenter was totally out of order shes only 19 for god sake thats going to damage her mental health… absolutely terrible. Why can’t people just be kind ffs i dont see what her weight has anything to do with her being on strictly… tilly is beautiful.’
A third user wrote: ‘Just heard Julia Hartley Brewer come on @thismorning saying freedom of speech entitles anyone to publicly comment on someone else’s weight. Listen, I know I’ve been guilty of it in the past, as I’d bet we all have. But that doesn’t mean it’s right and should be encouraged!’
‘The poor girl is 19!’: Fans quickly took to Twitter to rush to the teenager’s defence as they criticised Julia’s controversial opinion
Support was also shown for Tilly on the London Underground by the writers who post messages on information boards inside the city’s stations.
They wrote a letter on a whiteboard inside Piccadilly Circus station that read: ‘Dear Matilda, Hope you’re doing alright?
‘We thought we would write you this letter, well done for standing up for yourself against disgraceful behaviour and disgusting comments from people who should know better;
‘You are spectacular on Strictly, keep dancing and doing what you do, today we are changing Piccadilly Circus to PiccaTILLY Circus to pay tribute to you.’
‘Well done for standing up for yourself’: Support was shown for Tilly on the London Underground information boards
Elsewhere, Love Island’s Dr Alex George wrote an open letter to Steve after he was ‘horrified’ by his comments about Tilly.
Strictly star Tilly was quick to thank Alex for his support, commenting beneath his letter – shared on Instagram – ‘Thank you Alex for your support and kindness.’
In his letter, Alex highlighted that ‘it is widely recognised just how damaging such comments about someone’s weight are and the effect they can have on an individual’s mental health’.
He also noted: ‘We must not underestimate the impact such remarks can have, feeding into the perpetual cycle of weight stigma that still exists here in the UK.’
Alex captioned his post: ‘Email sent. We stand with you @tillyramsay.To anyone affected by these comments please reach out to @beatedsupport charity.’
Support: Elsewhere, Love Island’s Dr Alex George wrote an open letter to Steve after he was ‘horrified’ by his comments about Tilly
Letter: Alex told LBC in his letter that he was ‘horrified’ by the remarks and highlighted: ‘The discussion about a young person’s weight live on air is not acceptable’
Caption: Alex captioned his post: ‘Email sent. We stand with you @tillyramsay. To anyone affected by these comments please reach out to @beatedsupport charity’
Tilly replied: ‘Thank you Alex for your support and kindness. You are amazing’
The daughter of Gordon Ramsay took to Instagram on Wednesday to share a lengthy statement in which she expressed her hurt and shock at having her appearance criticised ‘by a 67-year-old man on national radio’.
The CBBC presenter is competing on Strictly with professional dancer Nikita Kuzmin and is simultaneously featuring on the pre-recorded Celebrity MasterChef Australia.
Alongside the statement she shared a soundbite from Steve’s show, in which he read out a comment from a listener alerting him to the fact Tilly was taking part in Celebrity MasterChef Australia.
Tilly penned: ‘I try not to read and listen to comments and negativity however recently being called out on a national radio station by a 67-year-old man is a step too far.
‘Steve please feel free voice your opinions however I draw the line at commenting on my appearance. It’s such a shame that someone is trying to make such a positive experience negative.’
Shocking: ‘Steve please feel free voice your opinions however I draw the line at commenting on my appearance,’ Tilly told Steve (pictured in March) on Instagram about his comments
Shock: In the post, Tilly revealed that she was ‘learning to accept’ herself but had still been left ‘hurt’ by the shocking remarks
Tilly continued: ‘This isn’t the first and definitely wont’ be the last comment made about my appearance and I accept that and I’m learning to accept myself.
‘But please remember that words can hurt. And at the end of the day I am only 19 and I’m so grateful for all the amazing opportunities I have been able to take part in.
‘And I understand that being in the public eye obviously comes with it’s own repercussions and I’ve been aware of this from a young age.
‘However, I won’t tolerate people that think it’s okay to publicly comment and scrutinise anyone’s weight and appearance. Love Tilly xx’
She captioned the post ‘#bekind’.
MailOnline has contacted LBC for comment.
Two of a kind: Tilly is partnered with Nikita Kuzmin on this year’s Strictly
Strictly stars flooded the post with support for Tilly with Janette Manrara writing: ‘How fast we forget what hurtful comments can do for someone’s mental health. You are a POWERFUL young lady! Wear your crown w/ your head held high’.
Giovanni Pernice penned: ‘Some people are very nasty !! Don’t listen to this crap .. we love You girl ! #bekind’.
GBBO star and Strictly contestant John Whaite penned: ‘He’s a piece of old sandpaper love, worn and used and has nothing to offer the world. And his vicious scratching has only left you polished and more fabulous. Love you.’
Her sister Holly meanwhile wrote: ‘Very well said x #bekind’, while their sister Megan echoed: ‘Love you Tills’.
Elizabeth Hurley’s son Damian reached out to Tilly to write: ‘what a total w**ker. bloody uncalled for. can’t wait for you to have the last laugh and keep winning. sending you love’.
Support: Strictly stars flooded the post with support for Tilly
Chef, social media influencer and TV presenter Tilly has over 9.5 million followers on TikTok, where she regularly posts funny videos of herself and dad Gordon.
She presented Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch on CBBC, which saw her cooking and having adventures along with her family, for which she received three Children’s BAFTA nominations.
In 2017 she published her first cookery book, inspired by the show, titled: Matilda & The Ramsay Bunch: Tilly’s Kitchen Takeover.
Tilly and her Dad also hosted a regular cooking item on This Morning, Big Chef Little Chef.
Famous father: Chef, social media influencer and TV presenter Tilly has over 9.5 million followers on TikTok, where she regularly posts funny videos of herself and dad Gordon
Meanwhile, Steve has hosted the early morning breakfast show on LBC since 2000.
This isn’t the first time the presenter has come under fire for making controversial comments.
Back in 2018, Steve was rapped by Ofcom after he mocked a blind journalist who became the first person in the UK to use a miniature guide horse.
Mohammed Salim Patel from Blackburn, Lancashire, was using two-year-old American miniature horse Digby because of his fear of dogs – until the horse grew too big.
In a broadcast on October 1, Steve said he’d ‘never heard of anything so stupid’ while discussing a story on Digby.
He also said on air: ‘Well if he’s blind, tell him it’s a rabbit or something. I’ve never heard of anything so stupid.
‘This is the blind man scared of dogs hoping that a horse will guide him on his commute. Where are you going to take that for goodness sake?’
In December, communications regulator Ofcom upheld a complaint that the comments had been offensive.
Following in her father’s footsteps: Tilly is currently featuring on the pre-recorded Celebrity MasterChef Australia
In its ruling, Ofcom said: ‘Mr Allen seemed to be implying that people who are blind cannot differentiate between a rabbit and a dog.
‘We considered that this remark could have been interpreted as belittling blind people and offering a highly pejorative view of them.
‘Further, Mr Allen repeatedly questioned, in dismissive terms, the practicality of using a guide horse and emphatically dismissed what was an individual’s choice to equip himself in this way as “ludicrous”.
‘He also concluded that the man in question should be denied this choice (‘He’s afraid of dogs. Why? Why’s he afraid of dogs? Well don’t give him – don’t give him anything at all then. Just give him a white stick’).
A step too far: Tilly said of Steve’s remarks, ‘I try not to read and listen to negativity however recently being called out on a national radio station by a 67-year-old man is a step too far’
‘In our view the potential offence was exacerbated by Steve Allen mocking the idea that the BBC had employed a blind cameraman.’
LBC said in its response to Ofcom that the programme is ‘centred around (Steve Allen’s) unique and acerbic take on the news of the day’.
The response added that he ‘provides fast-moving opinions on the headlines and rarely dwells on one topic for any significant amount of time’ and said his comment on the Mr Patel’s story ‘had a total duration of less than a minute’.
Earlier this year, Steve took an extended leave of absence from his radio show due to illness.
He did not front the show from February 17 to March 15.
On March 3, following calls from fans to know how the presenter was doing, LBC responded with a tweet which gave fans an update on his health.
They said: ‘Thank you to everyone who’s got in touch to ask about Steve Allen.
WHO IS STEVE ALLEN?
Steve, 67, first worked as a nightclub DJ where he met long-time friend Dale Winton and subsequently joined the United Biscuits Network, a radio station broadcasting to workers in the United Biscuits factories
UBN closed in 1979, and Allen joined LBC as presenter of the Night Extra programme.
He then moved on to present The Night is Young on the station.
When LBC was separated into two stations- 1152 AM and 97.3 FM, Steve presented the afternoon show for London Talkback Radio and Saturday Night Out.
Currently, Steve presents the early breakfast show on LBC between 4am and 7am from Monday to Friday.
The show involves discussion of stories from the day’s newspapers, and his personal anecdotes and gripes about daily life.
In 2015, Allen released a book entitled So You Want to be a Celebrity?
The man behind the voice: Steve (pictured in 2012) presents the early breakfast show on LBC between 4am and 7am from Monday to Friday
‘Steve is still feeling unwell and taking a few more days off. He’s asked us to thank you for all your kind messages.’
Steve responded by tweeting: ‘I am truly humbled by the amount of messages of support and promise you all I am doing my very best to be back with you all ASAP, a million thanks from the bottom of my heart.’
Steve’s exact illness was never disclosed.
Under fire: Back in 2018, Steve was rapped by Ofcom after he mocked a blind journalist who became the first person in the UK to use a miniature guide horse (pictured: journalist Mohammed Salim Patel and Digby the horse)