The TV presenter was widely criticised for the comment in Saturday’s (27 June) Daily Telegraph, in which he told an anonymous reader concerned about “bangs and crashes and shouting” coming from their neighbours: “If they were going to kill each other, they’d have done it by now.”
Following condemnation from a number of domestic violence charities, Madeley tweeted on Tuesday (30 June): “Hi everyone. My critics 2day are absolutely right – I misjudged this one, tonally and in content. SO annoyed with self.”
He continued: “Have reached out this afternoon 2 various people to apologise + will address it in Saturday’s paper. Mea Culpa.”
Madeley was seen to downplay concerns voiced by the Bedfordshire-based reader, who wrote in the letter: “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.”
In response, the TV personality suggested that the couple had probably just been drinking and that the reader should “stop worrying that things ‘aren’t right’.”
“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),” he wrote.
Domestic abuse charity Refuge tweeted: “This is appalling and dangerous advice @richardm56. 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… retract this ASAP.”
Anyone who requires help or support can contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline which is open 24/7 365 days per year on 0808 2000 247 or via its website nationaldahelpline.org.uk/