The Savoy ITV council house

The Savoy: ITV viewers divided over boss Phil Barnes’ ‘council house’ comments

Some called the comments 'disrespectful'

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The Savoy had ITV viewers divided last night when one of the hotel’s bosses laughed as he described visiting the council house he grew up in.

At the end of Wednesday (October 14) evening’s episode of the documentary series, managing director Phil Barnes reflected on how much his life has changed since his days living on a council estate in Salford, Greater Manchester.

The Savoy ITV council house
On ITV’s The Savoy, boss Phil Barnes reflected on his childhood living in a council house (Credit: ITV)

What happened on ITV’s The Savoy?

Phil’s grown-up children had flown in to London to join him at the hotel, as it catered for guests of the BAFTA awards show.

Speaking about his humble beginnings, he said: “I was born in Salford, Manchester and we lived there until I was about 11.

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“I was born on a council estate. Took the kids up there and we actually went and knocked on the door, took them into the house that I was actually born in.

“And they were looking at the bedroom I was born in going, ‘Oh my god, we’ve got closets bigger than this’. So it was quite entertaining, to go back. Anyway…”

The Savoy ITV council house
The MD said on The Savoy that he once took his own kids to see his childhood house (Credit: ITV)

What did The Savoy viewers say about the council house story?

On Twitter, a number of viewers took issue with the story, which they called “rude” and “disrespectful”.

One said: “Taking your kids to the house you were poor in. Can you imagine someone knocking on your door saying, ‘Can I come in and show my kids what it’s like to be poor? WTF.”

Another asked: “Just for a bit of entertainment? #TheSavoy.”

A third called it “difficult viewing”.

The Savoy ITV council house
Some watching The Savoy called the story ‘disrespectful’ (Credit: ITV)

A fourth tweeted: “Bit [bleeping] rude taking your kids to your old house and classing it as entertainment. It’s someone’s home.”

Someone else said: “Totally agree… those people make my blood boil.”

A sixth admitted: “Annoyed me that did, the people clearly let them in, being polite… can you imagine them walking around the house?”

Annoyed me that did, the people clearly let them in, being polite…

However, one viewer told others: “Oh get over yourselves.”

They pointed out: “Even Sir Paul McCartney hailed from a council house… the National Trust provides tours round it!”

ED! contacted ITV for comment.

Others loved last night’s episode, though.

“Encore #thesavoy,” said one with clapping emojis. “Another fabulous episode.”

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“Loving #TheSavoy especially tonight’s episode, Bafta night,” said another, adding with a winking emoji: “One day eh?!”

Someone else gushed: “The Savoy is absolutely brilliant.”

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