Phillip Schofield and Michael Peterson on This Morning
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This Morning host Phillip Schofield under fire for ‘awkward’ joke to Michael Peterson

There's a time and a place, Phil

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This Morning host Phillip Schofield has come under fire for cracking an “awkward” joke to a man who was jailed for his wife’s murder.

Phillip made a joke about falling down the stairs to Michael Peterson – whose wife died falling down the stairs.

Michael Peterson in suit on This Morning today
Michael Peterson was on the show today (Credit: ITV)

Michael Peterson on This Morning today

Back in 2001, Michael Peterson’s wife, Kathleen, was found dead at their North Carolina home.

Michael claimed that she had fallen down the stairs while under the influence of alcohol. However, authorities believed that Michael had bludgeoned her to death.

He was sentenced to life in prison in 2003.

Read more: The true story behind The Staircase: Where is Michael Peterson now?

However, in 2017, Michael entered an Alford plea which meant that he admitted there was enough evidence to convict him for manslaughter but he didn’t admit guilt for the crime.

He was subsequently sentenced to time already served and set free.

A TV miniseries about the murder case – starring Colin Firth and Toni Collette – was recently released on HBO Max.

Phillip Schofield talking on This Morning
Phillip made an awkward joke on today’s show (Credit: ITV)

Phillip Schofield on This Morning

Michael made an appearance on This Morning today to talk about the murder case, as well as to once again protest his innocence.

At the end of the interview, in which Phillip and Holly Willoughby asked Michael directly if he’d killed his wife, Phil spoke about a “twist of fate”.

“In a remarkable twist of fate, our team member who was looking after you yesterday grabbed you just as you were about to fall down the staircase and saved you,” he said.

“He did?” Michael asked, confused.

“Yes. Stopped you falling down the staircase,” Phillip said.

Michael still looked confused, prompting Phillip to joke: “Can’t remember that one either?”

Holly burst into laughter as Michael responded: “No, I don’t.”

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby laughing on This Morning today
Phillip came under fire from viewers (Credit: ITV)

Holly and Michael may have seen the funny side of Phillip’s little joke, but not all viewers did.

Plenty took to Twitter to slam the 60-year-old.

“Wow it’s hilarious isn’t it making jokes about falling down stairs,” one viewer tweeted.

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“What an awkward end to the interview,” another said.

“Why are they making a joke about falling down the stairs when his wife tragically died that way?” a third wrote.

This Morning airs on weekdays from 10am on ITV and ITV Hub.

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