Richard Madeley has apologised for writing an advice column that was criticised for downplaying a reader’s fears that their neighbour might be suffering domestic violence.
The TV presenter and Daily Telegraph agony uncle said he was “so annoyed” with himself for having “misjudged” his response in Saturday’s paper.
“My critics 2day are absolutely right,” he posted on Twitter on Tuesday.
“I misjudged this one, tonally and in content. So annoyed with self.”
Madeley added that he had “reached out” to various people to apologise, and that he would address the topic in his column next weekend.
The letter, from an anonymous reader in Bedfordshire, was printed under the heading: “What shall I do about my noisy nocturnal neighbours?”
It described “bangs and crashes and shouting” coming from the property “most nights”.
“I worry that something could come to light in the future and I would feel guilty because I did nothing, despite a gut feeling that things are not right,” the letter went on.
Madeley responded by saying that: “If some sort of serious abuse was involved you’d have noticed it (in the form of black eyes, cut lips and the like, or late night visits from the police after drunken 999 calls).”
‘Appalling and dangerous advice’
He concluded: “If they were going to kill each other, they’d have done it by now.”
Madeley was criticised by charities including Standing Together Against Domestic Violence and Refuge.
“This is appalling and dangerous advice,” tweeted Refuge, demanding a retraction.
“Women live in fear of their partners across the country – many are isolated and alone; Literally trapped. Women’s lives depend on people calling out abuse.”