Richard Madeley or Alan Partridge?

Richard Madeley or Alan Partridge? BLOG  Thursday 28th October 2021


Aha! It’s time for Richard Madeley to be off our screens

By Katie Edwards

Well, it seems to have happened… with yet another “aha!” moment, inveterate broadcaster Richard Madeley has finally morphed into Alan Partridge. I’m sure that a kind of morbid fascination motivates viewers to switch on Good Morning Britain (GMB) in the mornings just to see what cringe-quip Madeley will come out with next.

‘Long-suffering Susanna Reid is a martyr to saving Madeley from his own

After all, the “Who Said it? Richard Madeley or Alan Partridge?” quiz has already become a party-game classic. Madeley has become television’s equivalent to prodding a sore gum after losing a tooth: you know you shouldn’t but you just can’t leave it alone because the pain is somehow pleasurable.

If you’ve been watching through your fingers as he co-hosts GMB, then, like me, you’ll already be aware that his responses to serious news items have gone beyond parody.

Earlier this year, following a piece on former Isis teen bride Shamima Begum, Madeley mused upon the Nuremberg trials… and offered this pearl of wisdom: “…we hanged quite a few Nazis and imprisoned a lot of others and we let them out eventually. But we didn’t go after the Hitler Youth as far as I’m aware… we only went after adults who served in the Hitler regime and that’s something to reflect on, I think.”

Susanna Reid’s bemused facial expression was priceless. Long-suffering Reid, a presenter who seems doomed to spend her career co-hosting with cartoonishly over-confident, gobby and overbearingly mediocre blokes, is a martyr to saving Madeley from his own comments.

She steadfastly steers good ship GMB back on course even when Madeley, whose foot is surely needs to be surgically removed from his mouth by now, threatens to drown the show in chaos.

From what I have seen, it’s always Reid’s capable hand that prevents the show from descending further into farce. I don’t know about you, but I’m always half-expecting Madeley to exclaim: “Calm down, Susanna! You are suffering from minor women’s whiplash!” when she attempts to cover for his latest gaffe.

I think Madeley would be comedy gold if he weren’t… well… real. His flawless segues between segments: [speaking to a man whose life was saved by a paramedic] “Stop crying! This is supposed to make you happy! Anyway after the break, the biggest dog in the UK. And he really is big. Don’t miss it!” and his tan-tastic appearance after mistaking fake tan for moisturiser are one thing, but for me many of his other comments are – or should be – beyond the pale.

Take a few of his most recent Partridge-esque observations, for example. After a segment in the environmental Earthshot Prize awards, did Madeley turn his incisive journalist’s mind to climate change? Maybe a thoughtful commentary on Cop26? Nope. He commented on attendee Kate Middleton’s “tiny, tiny waist.”

During an interview with Jemma Wolstenholme, a woman who was spiked during a night out, Madeley thought the discussion would be improved by a bit of apparent victim-blaming: “But had you been taking precautions? … Had you been trying to protect your drink? Had you kept your hand over it? Had you kept it with you, do you remember that?”

In a debate about Squid Game, Madeley interrupted parenting expert Jade Evans, to patronise her: ‘‘Hang on, hang on,” Richard interrupted. “Darling, let me finish the question. We’ve done the debate about video nasties.”

To keep up to speed with all the latest opinions and comment sign up to our free weekly Voices newsletter The Opinion by clicking here

Tueday’s Madeley howler involved him asking Keir Starmer whether Angela Rayner was still his “best girl”. In my opinion, his comments are tipping over from benign absurdity to serial misogyny.

So I have to question, why is he still on our screen? For entertainment value? For comedy gold? Because audiences are fond of the veteran broadcaster despite, or even because of, his constant slips, blunders and disrespect for women? Are we so used to having Madeley in our living rooms that we excuse even his more dire comments because he’s “such a legend”, “a national treasure”, “he’s harmless” or “he doesn’t mean it”?

In my view, our fondness for Madeley shouldn’t make us indifferent to casual misogyny – he’s an experienced journalist and broadcaster, not a fictional comedy character. After all these years, perhaps it’s finally time for us to say “Smell my cheese!” to Richard Madeley and (what seems to me, at least) his blase attitude to women.


TOP 14 Fun Facts About Trees

Trees are more than just part of our natural landscape. They provide shelter and food for wildlife. They absorb carbon dioxide and produce breathable air. And one of the best things about trees is that they add to the beauty of the world.

  1. Trees are the longest living organisms on Earth, and never die of old age.

California holds the record for the oldest living trees. Some of the state’s bristlecone pines and giant sequoias are 4,000-5,000 years old. Methuselah, an estimated 4,852-year-old ancient Bristlecone Pine, is one of the oldest living trees in the world.

  1. Tree rings can predict climate change.

Dating a tree by studying its rings is called Dendrochronology. However, a tree’s rings don’t only reveal its age, they can also indicate the occurrence of natural disasters such as a volcanic eruption or a drought event. In the years of good growth, characterized by a healthy supply of resources, the ring is thick. It is thin when resources are scarce in the ecosystem. A study by Somaru Ram from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology showed that the increasing heat index and temperature in Sikkim, India has had an adverse effect on tree growth due to high potential evapotranspiration—the rate at which plants lose water through their leaves. Such studies help scientists understand the impact of climate change.

  1. Planting trees can help reduce your energy costs.shade

Strategically planting trees and shrubs can save you up to 25 percent on your energy bills. A shade tree can help cool your home by as much as 20 degrees in the summertime. Not only do they provide shade in the summer, but serve as a windbreak in the winter, too.

  1. Some trees have been to the moon.

“Moon trees” were grown from seeds taken to the moon during the Apollo 14 mission in early 1971. NASA and the US Forest Service wanted to see if the moon’s orbit caused the seeds to grow differently back on earth. These trees were donated to state forestry services in 1975 and 1976.

  1. Trees are able to communicate and defend themselves against attacking insects.

Scientists have found that trees can flood their leaves with chemicals called phenolics when the insects begin their raid. They can also signal danger to other trees so they can start their own defense. Willow trees, for example, emit certain chemicals when they’re attacked by webworms. Other willows then produce more tannin, making their leaves harder for the pests to digest.

  1. Trees block noise by reducing sound waves.

They reduce noise through a phenomenon called sound attenuation, which is the reduction of sound intensity. Leaves, twigs, and branches on trees, shrubs, and herbaceous growth absorb and deflect sound waves to mask unwanted noise.

  1. Trees can help to reduce stress.

Research suggests that being around trees is good for our mental and social well-being. A study conducted by the University of Illinois and the University of Hong Kong found that the denser the forest, the lower the stress, which suggests that taking a walk down a tree-lined street could prove beneficial to your mental wellbeing. Research also suggests that nature experiences help us to feel kinder toward others. This is partly because they release chemicals called phytoncides. When we breathe them in, it can reduce blood pressure, lower anxiety levels, and increase pain threshold.

  1. Trees help reduce the effects of climate change.

A mature tree can absorb more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide each year, removing and storing the carbon while releasing the oxygen back into the air. In Chicago, trees remove more than 18,000 tons of air pollution each year.

  1. Trees can help you find your way if you get lost in the woods.moss

In northern temperate climates, moss will grow on the northern side of the tree trunk, where there is more shade. Also, a tree’s rings can help point you in the right direction too. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, you can see the rings of the tree grow slightly thicker on the southern side since it receives more light.  In the southern hemisphere, the opposite is true, with rings being thicker on the north side.

  1. More than half of all tree species exist in only one country.

There are 60,000 tree species in the world and many are threatened with extinction. Brazil, Colombia, and Indonesia have the highest totals for native tree species.

  1. Well-kept landscapes with trees increase property value.

Several recent nationwide surveys show that mature trees in a well-landscaped yard can increase the value of a house by seven to 19 percent. A study by a Michigan State professor found that across seven different states, study participants perceived that home value increased from five to 11% for homes with a good landscape.

  1. If a birdhouse is hung on a tree branch, it won’t move up the tree as the tree grows.birdhouse2

This is because trees grow from the top. Specialized cells in the ends of the tree shoots form areas called meristems. These meristems are the locations from which a tree grows taller and limbs grow longer. Because trees grow from their most distal ends, it means that a branch will always be the same height as it was the day it emerged from the trunk as a little bud. However, just because tree branches do not rise as a tree grows doesn’t mean they will always be there, many trees shed their lowest branches as they grow.

Untitled design 113. Trees improve water quality.

As rain falls to the Earth, it is slowed and filtered by trees, helping it soak into the soil. Trees then serve as natural sponges, collecting and filtering rainwater and releasing it slowly into streams and rivers. They also prevent soil from eroding into our waterways, reduce stormwater runoff, and lessen flood damage.

  1. Different parts of a tree grow at different times throughout the year.

Typically, most of the foliage growth happens in the spring, followed by trunk growth in the summer and root growth in the fall and winter.

REMEMBER: The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.

– Nicolas Chamfort


  1. “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Breault


Happiness is…watching Knowing You, Knowing me or is it Good Morning Britain?



Love is…working out your problems together


A time for Alan Partridge…A time for Richard Madeley


28th October

1949 The glove puppet Sooty with Harry Corbett, made his first appearance on BBC TV.

1959 The first use of a car phone, with a call from Cheshire to London. A mere twenty five people had paid the astronomical sum of £200 each for one of the phones.



©2021 Phil M Robinson