ITV bosses made a major blunder on today’s This Morning by printing the home address of an eight-year-old girl who was appearing on the show.
Phoebe Hanson had written in to offer her services as a replacement to Big Ben, with the iconic bell entering a period of silence today while essential repair work is carried out.
She was brought into the studio to showcase her unique chiming skills to Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, and during the segment the letter she wrote to ITV was briefly shown.
However, producers forgot to blur out her address, potentially exposing the girl to bullies. And viewers were up in arms – both about the blunder and, well, the general daftness of it all.
Sitting alongside her dad, Jon, Phoebe explained how she would replace the 13.7-tonne bell, which has been retired from regular ringing for four years while the Elizabeth Tower that houses it is restored.
She started by singing: “Bing bong, bing bong, bing bong, bing bong,” before leaning down and sounding a gong that she’d brought into the studio with her.
We thought it was pretty sweet – childhood innocence at its finest. But cynical viewers seemed to find the performance a little cringeworthy.
One wrote on Twitter: “Seriously, this girl who wants to be Big Ben is gonna be so embarrassed when she’s older.”
Another scoffed: “What have I just watched???? That little girl doing the bongs of Big Ben… struggling for content, are we? Tragic.”
And a third person tweeted: “Do this little girl’s parents hate her so much that they would let her make such a fool of herself on national TV?”
But others viewers were more concerned about the letter error.
One tweeted: “The girl making Big Ben noises… WTF?! Also showed her home address on [the] letter, which wasn’t the greatest idea.”
Another scathed: “Did you really just put that ‘bing bong’ girl’s address unpixelated on national TV??”
Her home address was thankfully blurred out in the ITV+1 edition of the show.
Today’s gaffe certainly isn’t the first time This Morning has mucked up. Only a couple of days ago, presenter Rylan Clark-Neal was left speechless when the wrong video footage was shown on the programme for around TEN SECONDS.
And also last week, showbiz reporter Alison Hammond told viewers she had some “big news” about Coleen Nolan. She was, of course, referring to Coleen ROONEY’s pregnancy.