Alison Hammond receives Ofcom complaints for ‘naughty children’ comment

Alison Hammond is receiving backlash after describing children as “naughty” during an episode of This Morning.

ITV presenter Hammond, 48, was hit with multiple Ofcom complaints following the episode which aired on Friday 12 January – the same day her phone went off live on-air, distracting her co-host Dermot O’Leary.

However, the complaints were aimed at the host’s claim that children who were missing school to watch the morning show were “naughty”.

The broadcasting watchdog said it had received 86 viewer complaints about the episode, with a majority of them pertaining to Hammond’s comments.

“The majority of complaints related to comments made by Alison Hammond about children who are not in school at the time of broadcast as naughty,” a spokesperson for Ofcom confirmed in a statement toThe Mirror on Thursday (18 January).

The Independent has contacted Hammond’s representatives for comment.

In recent years, some parenting experts have highlighted the need to stop labelling children as “naughty” because it can impact their confidence and make them self-critical as adults.

It can also create a “nocebo effect” as children start to behave in naughty ways because they start to believe that’s what is expected of them, well-known childcare author Sarah Ockwell-Smith has previously argued.

During the same episode, the Bake Off presenter was forced to apologise to viewers after her phone went off while she was presenting alongside O’Leary.

“Oh my God, have you not turned it off?” O’Leary asked Hammond, who protested “it wasn’t me”.

‘This Morning’s Dermot O’Leary distracted as Alison Hammond’s phone goes off live on-air (ITV)
‘This Morning’s Dermot O’Leary distracted as Alison Hammond’s phone goes off live on-air (ITV)

Hammond then checked her phone before admitting: “Oh, it was! I thought I had it on aeroplane mode.

“Hold on, let me turn it off. I’m so sorry!”

This isn’t the first time Hammond’s views on This Morning have offended viewers, as the presenter was forced to apologise for “making light” of theatre audiences singing along at musicals last April.

Her comments pertained to a discussion about theatre etiquette after the Palace Theatre asked audiences not to sing along with the touring production of The Bodyguard.

“I can’t believe it. I’d be devastated, I’m not even going to go to that show now,” Hammond said, with Feltz asking: “Isn’t the whole point of going to a musical you know, that you sing along to all the bits you know and when you don’t know the words you just make them up?”

She later issued a public apology to “the incredibly talented theatre performers, who I have the utmost respect for” in a statement shared on X, formerly Twitter.

“After reflection and the comments I made on Wednesday’s show I want to apologise to anyone who I offended especially the incredibly talented theatre performers, who I have the utmost respect for,” Hammond wrote.

“I had no idea the level of disruption audiences were causing and tried to make light of the topic on Wednesday’s show, and for that I’m truly sorry.

“I am a great support of theatre and the arts and would never sing at the top of my lungs at any performance, I was wrong in what I said and I’ve given this a lot of though over the past few days and believe I was wrong,” Hammond added.