Steve Allen’s body-shaming comments about Tilly Ramsay are being looked into by Ofcom.
The broadcasting watchdog has confirmed it’s looking into complaints over the 67-year-old LBC radio DJ referring to the 19-year-old Strictly Come Dancing contestant as a “chubby little thing” live on air.
An Ofcom spokesperson said of the incident: “We are assessing the complaints against our broadcasting rules.” However, they also stressed: “But [we] are yet to decide whether or not to investigate.”
Steve made the comment when told that Tilly, who is the daughter of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and a CBBC presenter, was also taking part in the current season of Celebrity MasterChef Australia, which was filmed months earlier.
He replied: “Is she?”
“Well, she can’t blimming well dance, I’m bored with her already. She’s a chubby little thing, isn’t she? Have you noticed? Probably her dad’s cooking, I should imagine.”
While Tilly’s notoriously outspoken father is yet to hit back, she herself as addressed via social media.
She wrote: “I try not to read and listen to comments and negativity however recently being called out on a national radio station by a 67-year-old man is a step too far.
“Steve please feel free voice your opinions however I draw the line at commenting on my appearance. It’s such a shame that someone is trying to make such a positive experience negative.
“This isn’t the first and definitely won’t be the last comment made about my appearance and I accept that and I’m learning to accept myself.
“But please remember that words can hurt and at the end of the day I am only 19 and I’m so grateful for all the amazing opportunities I have been able to take part in and I understand that being in the public eye obviously comes with it’s own repercussions and I’ve been aware of this from a young age.
“However I won’t tolerate people that think it’s okay to publicly comment and scrutinise anyone’s weight and appearance. Love Tilly xx”
Several Strictly viewers and celebrities have also waded in, including comedian Jason and Mental Health Ambassador Alex.
On Twitter, Jason furiously wrote: “I see that bitter old p***k @steveallenshow is trying stay relevant again, this time by criticising a teenage girls’ body on his s**t radio show.
“I’d love to see Tilly’s Dad rock up at LBC and give this troll the tongue lashing he deserves. Awful man, terrible outdated broadcaster.”
Meanwhile, Dr Alex shared a screenshot of an open letter he wrote on his Instagram, which included: “Dear LBC Radio… I am writing to you in my capacity as Youth Mental Health Ambassador regarding the comments made by your presenter Steve Allen, on LBC Radio this morning…
“I am absolutely horrified by these remarks. It is widely recognised just how damaging such comments about someone’s weight are and the effect they can have on an individual’s mental health.
“We must not only think of the effect on Tilly here, which I can imagine could be significant, but also the potential impact to listeners of the show.”
It Takes Two presenter Janette Manrara wrote: “How fast we forget what hurtful comments can do for someone’s mental health.”
Tilly’s professional partner Nikita Kuzmin, who she will return to the BBC ballroom show with tomorrow night, was also among those to send a supportive message.
Last week the pair performed the Paso Doble with judge Anton Du Beke praising them as their “best dance of the season”.
Steve Allen is yet to publicly respond to his comments backlash.Internet Explorer Channel Network