Ed Balls on Good Morning Britain

GMB urged to ‘get rid’ of Ed Balls after ‘uncomfortable’ question to woman with Alzheimer’s

He asked if she thought being diagnosed was a 'good thing'

Viewers have urged ITV to “get rid” of Good Morning Britain presenter Ed Balls after a comment he made to a woman with Alzheimer’s on the show today (July 5).

Both Ed and co-host Susanna Reid first paid tribute to former GMTV host Fiona Phillips, who has just announced she was diagnosed with the condition last year.

They then introduced a guest to discuss her own experiences with Alzheimer’s. The mother of two received her diagnosis a decade ago, and used to be an introvert. However, she’s changed since the diagnosis, even taking on skydiving. But Ed’s reaction to her comments left some viewers furious…

Fiona Phillips on Lorraine
Fiona Phillips shared her Alzheimer’s diagnosis this week (Credit: ITV)

ITV urged to axe Good Morning Britain host Ed Balls

Given her achievements since her diagnosis, Ed asked her whether she thought it could have been a “good thing”. The woman didn’t seem offended at Ed’s question and replied that while no one would want a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, she’s been living her life as best she can.

Despite Ed seemingly asking the question innocently, people on Twitter criticised the star for his question.

One even asked the show to “get rid” of him, saying: “Telling a woman it is a good thing she has Alzheimer’s due to everything she has achieved since her diagnosis. He is just a moron and never thinks. He just makes it so awkward and uncomfortable to watch.”

Another viewer also urged ITV to replace Ed. “Please no more Ed Balls. He was a politician he is not a presenter. Please find a better presenter and get the programme back to where it used to be,” they said. “Why do you constantly have Ed as a presenter 20 minutes in time to turn off,” declared another.

He has personal experience with the condition

However, not everyone felt the same, with some commending him on his understanding of the condition.

One viewer commented: “Well said Ed. With a diagnosis of dementia you are on your own. My family have cared for my dad for 12 years. We have had no help at all. Now my elderly mother has to pay privately for care home fees because she can no longer cope with the heavy care needed at home.”

In the past, Ed has opened up about his own family’s experience with Alzheimer’s. His mother lives with the condition, and has done for over 20 years.

Earlier this year, he said: “The problem is that none of us have any experience, whether it’s a husband or wife or son or daughter, we don’t know how to deal with this, because most of us have never come across it in our lives before. It is bewildering and it’s so hard to find where to go to ask.”

He also took part in a BBC documentary. Inside the Care Crisis with Ed Balls looked at issues in the care system.

Read more: Ed Balls mocks Good Morning Britain debate he’s forced to host: “What a ridiculous question”

Fiona Phillips reveals she’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s

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