Cat Deeley apologises after sparking ire of This Morning viewers with ‘seizure’ comment

TV presenter Cat Deeley has apologised for making an “appalling” joke about having a seizure on This Morning.

The star, who became the ITV daytime show’s fixed host alongside Ben Shephard earlier this year, was criticised after making the comment on Monday’s episode (17 June). The following day, after a backlash from viewers, Deeley apologised for the offensive remark.

She told viewers: “First of all, I just wanted to apologise to anyone who was offended yesterday when I made a light-hearted comment about my dancing style. It really wasn’t supposed to cause any upset to anybody, but I can see why that might have been the case, so I do apologise.

“I'm very sorry. It didn't come from that place at all.”

Deeley initially made the joke after welcoming viewers back after a break alongside her co-host Shephard. While introducing singer Meghan Trainor, who was in the studio, her song “All About That Bass” could be heard playing in the background.

When Deeley started dancing, telling viewers: “Nothing to see here,” Shephard jokingly asked her if she was OK, to which she replied: “Yeah I’m fine. Just having a seizure. Welcome back.”

Deeley’s comment has been branded “cruel”, “stupid” and “offensive”, and multiple epilepsy awareness groups have called out the presenter, urging her to educate herself about the condition.

“Seizures are no laughing matter for people with #epilepsy@catdeeley,” Epilepsy Society wrote on X/Twitter: “Please do better and educate yourselves about this difficult and poorly understood condition, @thismorning.”

Young Epilepsy added: “We’re extremely disappointed to hear @catdeeley on @ThisMorning making a joke of seizures. There are more than 100,000 children and young people who live with epilepsy in the UK. Seizures significantly impact their life - they are not something to be ridiculed or joked about.”

Epilepsy advocate Simon Privett wrote: When we have celebrities making inappropriate remarks and references about epilepsy, is it any wonder some people with a diagnosis are afraid of stigma and misunderstanding? Need some awareness training @catdeeley @ITV ? It’s inappropriate and offensive.

Meanwhile, Epilepsy Action posted: “Your careless use of language has real consequences for people with epilepsy who already face so much stigma.”

Others called the remark “disgusting” and an “absolute disgrace”, with one irate viewer posting: “Epilepsy is NOT a laughing matter.”

Find more reactions to Deeley’s comment below:

The Independent has contacted Deeley and This Morning for comment.

After being appointed as host of This Morning, Deeley called the daytime show “a national institution”, adding: “This Morning is and always will be the viewer’s show. Ben and I both know how much people love it, and with the help of an amazing team of people, we’re going to do our best to take care of it.”

Her hiring alongside Shephard came after a tumultuous year for the show due to a behind-the-scenes furore surrounding Phillip Schofield. Holly Willoughby quit the show months later.