Jason Gardiner has lashed out at the tone of his interview on Good Morning Britain after he appeared on the show on Friday to promote this weekend’s Dancing On Ice final.
The outspoken judge was told by Ben Shephard he’s a “sort of evil Lord” because he can be so “cruel” to the contestants, while Kate Garraway accused him of being “bullying”.
Following the awkward scenes, Jason took to Twitter to thank viewers who got in touch with him and suggested the line of questioning had been out of order.
He wrote: “Really touched by the support I am receiving after
@GMB tried to brand me cruel, evil & bullying. None of the celebs who are paid to do @dancingonice feel mentally or physically harmed by my judging. I know the public gets it. @kategarraway clearly has never been bullied.”
Ben asked Jason why he made the comments he did about contestants.
“I’ve known you for years and you’re a lovely guy but on air you turn into this sort of evil Lord,” he said.
“Evil! Evil?” Jason replied shocked by the choice of words.
“Yes! You can be so cruel,” Ben said.
Kate agreed and after showing a montage of clips of Jason criticising GMB weatherman Alex Beresford’s performances on Dancing On Ice, she asked him: “Why are you so direct, let’s call it that if you don’t like the word cruel.
“You’ve had tough times in your life being bullied at school and then problems coming to terms with your sexuality and how people treated you over that so you know what it’s like to be picked on, how would you look at your comments and say it’s different?”
Jason seemed visibly stunned by the choice of words and implication he was a bully.
He replied: “That’s controversial because what you’re saying is I am picking on people and that you are likening what I do to bullying?”
Kate stuck to her guns and said: “Some people might look at it and think that, but you must have decided it isn’t in your head so perhaps that explains why.”
Defending himself and his role on the show, Jason replied: “Really that’s interesting. I am there to give a critique based on my expertise and I have ten seconds to make a point.
“Now, if I was to sit there and espouse technical jargon it’s lost on the contestant and the home viewer… I have to make a point and get it into their head. Whether you agree with what I do, it gets results, they do improve.”
He added: “I am very balanced and fair and impartial.”
Kate said she does love watching him, while Ben agreed Jason’s comments can help contestants to improve.
Some viewers took to Twitter to suggest Kate went too far with her comments.
One wrote: “Did anyone else think @kategarraway was a bit harsh on
@GMB this morning with @officialJasonG likening his judging style to bulling!! WOW Totally way off the mark.”
Another agreed tweeting the judge to say: “@officialJasonG I watched you on GMB today and totally unfair they likened your judging comments to bullying. You are direct and constructive and give credit where credit is due. No bullying involved.”
A third wrote: “Disagree fully with Kate’s point about
@officialJasonG’s past and the ‘bullying’ reference that was indicated. Performers respect brutal honesty as then the compliments mean so much more. It’s all Panto. Jason is great telly.”
A fourth said: “Such an uncomfortable interview @GMB @officialJasonG is a judge on a entertainment program, why bring such personal issues into it? He is in no way a bully.
Others defended Kate, with one saying: “I believe Kate didn’t mean that as it sounded and was trying to say that she thought your background would make you more sensitive to people’s feelings and could perhaps say what you mean in a nicer way.”
Another said: “I think that Kate maybe used the incorrect terminology and am sure she didn’t mean it as it was said. She’s not a malicious person and the viewers know you are being honest when you give your opinion and it’s why they watch. A misunderstanding.”
ED! have contacted a rep at GMB for a comment.
The final of Dancing On Ice is this Sunday on ITV at 6pm. Reality star Jake Quickenden, rugby player Max Evans and Corrie’s Brooke Vincent will compete for the title.
Did you think Jason’s GMB interview was unfair or fair? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think!