This Morning hit with Ofcom complaints after Covid vaccine row

This Morning Ofcom
(Image credit: ITV Pictures)

This Morning has been hit with 120 Ofcom complaints after host Dermot O'Leary got into a controversial debate with an anti-vaxxer guest live on air.

The presenter is currently hosting the ITV daytime show all week alongside Alison Hammond, as they hold the fort for regular presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby who are enjoying the half-term break with their families.

Dermot usually hosts just the Friday show with Alison and had viewers asking why Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford weren't on This Morning this week.

But he also got viewers' attention when he became embroiled in a heated debate with an anti-vaxxer guest Beverley Turner over the controversial coronavirus vaccines and more than 120 people complained to Ofcom over the segment.

Viewers looked on as Beverley shared her views on the vaccine live on the show and 53 complaints were made about her to the TV watchdog.

To put her views across, Beverley said, "It [the vaccine] does not stop you catching or passing on the virus."

Reports show more than 50 million people in the UK have now received their first dose of either the Pfizer, Moderna or Oxford vaccine.

In response, Dermot added, "It does," before saying, "The finest minds of science have - in an extraordinarily short amount of time - come up with this vaccine. It's proven it's working, statistically."

Dermot also received 27 Ofcom complaints after sharing his thoughts on the jab.

Covid Vaccine

At the beginning of the vaccination programme, the government drew up a list of those who would be eligible for the vaccination first. It largely included those who would be most affected by Covid-19 and those made particularly vulnerable due to occupation, age and/or medical history, along with some other factors.

Dermot asked her, "Why are you so cynical?" to which Beverley replied, "We have no long-term data."

Dermot hit back and said, "We don't have a chance to have long-term data because we have this virus that's killing people around the whole world. We don't have that luxury, surely. Why are you so skeptical about the whole thing?"

Beverley responded, "Because of the fact, there's a 99.8% survival rate from Covid-19. The average age of death is 82."

Dermot then challenged, "Are we not supposed to care about those people?"

Beverley continued, "This jab is not a vaccine by any traditional definition. It doesn't stop you catching Sars CoV-2, it doesn't stop you transmitting it."

And Matthew Wright also slammed Beverley for being "massively irresponsible".

A total of 93 complaints were related to the on-air disagreement about the jab, which Prince William and Kate Middleton recently had their first doses of.

Kate revealed that she was hugely grateful for receiving her vaccine and fans couldn't believe how hunky Prince William looked when he shared a snap of him receiving his.

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Kate and William followed in the footsteps of Prince Charles and the Queen, who received their vaccinations earlier this year.

Prince Charles contracted Covid-19 last April and self-isolated at his Birkhall home after displaying mild symptoms. At the time, his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, tested negative for the virus.

William was reported to have also tested positive for coronavirus around the same time as his father but is believed to have kept his diagnosis private to avoid causing alarm.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)