Cliff Richard on This Morning
An awkward clip of Cliff Richard’s recent appearance is facing criticism for comments the crooner made about fellow musician Elvis Presley on This Morning.
During an interview on Monday’s edition of the daytime show, Cliff told presenters Alison Hammond, Dermot O’Leary and guest host Sarah Ferguson that he had “one chance” to meet Elvis much earlier in his career, but turned it down.
“[A journalist] knew I was influenced [by Elvis], and he said, ‘do you want to meet him?’, and I said, ‘yeah!’,” the former Eurovision star recalled.
“At the end of the interview, though, I said, ‘can we put it off?’, because [Elvis] had put on a lot of weight, and I thought, ‘if I’m having a photograph taken with him, and it’s going to be hanging on my refrigerator, he’s got to look good’. And I put it off, and, of course, then he died.”
“You should never have put it off just because they’re a little bit heavier,” Alison told him, with Cliff then telling viewers at home: “If you’re a fan of somebody’s, and you get a chance to meet them, meet them.”
Alison Hammond, Dermot O'Leary and Sarah Ferguson react to Cliff's anecdote
“Even if they’ve put on weight,” he added with a laugh, while Alison responded: “Is that why you don’t want me at your house? Anyway…”
A clip of the exchange has already racked up hundreds of thousands of views on X (formerly known as Twitter), with Cliff facing criticism over his insensitive remarks.
Alison, meanwhile, received praise for the way she handled the uncomfortable moment…
One of the most awkward, jaw-dropping things I've ever seen on TV 😲 Felt sorry for Alison Hammond though 🙁 pic.twitter.com/0funjJbMU5
— Jonny Harvey (@iamjonnyharvey) November 21, 2023
— hairy queen of scots (@darkestflameboy) November 21, 2023
I can’t believe he sat there and said that
— Benji (@benjitomlinsonx) November 21, 2023
Awful, just so shallow. A truly uncomfortable watch. Alison handled this wonderfully but It doesn’t make it okay! Wrong on so many levels.
— Cheryl (@schezwanmam) November 21, 2023
— Alice Wright (@sequinnedsheep) November 20, 2023
So disappointing that Cliff actually had that opinion but also thinks it’s ok to say it out loud without any consideration to Alison, who also dealt with it brilliantly.
— Kay (@ladykmw) November 21, 2023
"I didn't want to meet Elvis, my idol, the reason I have a career in music, because he'd put on weight"
Yeah. Hats off to Alison, handled it like a real pro. I would've laughed in his face. What a ridiculous man.
— Helen Tope (@Scholar1977) November 21, 2023
She handled it well without letting him off the hook.
— rj (@richard_jm) November 21, 2023
Alison handled this better than I would have! https://t.co/dx7ZL5JqeR
— Tania Britto (@taniaburrito) November 21, 2023
The way she threw it back in his face though 💀 what a queen!
— ✨Laura-Moon✨ 🏳️⚧️🕊️ (@moonchalk1997) November 21, 2023
Oh Jesus Christ. Alison’s reaction was *chefs kiss* but she should’ve chucked the book back at him pic.twitter.com/1WSRC4zZy6
— sᴜᴘᴇʀ ᴛᴠ (@superTV247) November 21, 2023
During her time in the spotlight, Alison has repeatedly spoken out about the way she’s been made to feel over the course of her life because of her weight, and received a wave of support for her candour.
“People look down on [other] people because they’re so big, and they can’t actually help it,” Alison said.
Meanwhile, earlier this year, the Great British Bake Off star had an empowering conversation with one viewer on air during a phone-in about body confidence.
“Babes, just let them stare. Let them do and deal with their life. ’Cause that is not your life,” she said.
She later added: “I have insecurities as well, babes. I feel how you feel sometimes as well. It’s not all perfect, what you see on the TV. I feel exactly like you sometimes.
“Like I said, I don’t like taking my jackets off. But honestly, in life, you’ve got to enjoy your life. Before you know it, we’re not here. So you’ve really got to enjoy your life.”