Arlene Phillips slams Alison Hammond’s apology over theatre singing comments

Arlene Phillips has hit out at Alison Hammond after the This Morning presenter shared an apology following her recent comments about theatre performances.

Alison, 48, came under fire following Friday's episode of This Morning, where she and co-host Dermot O'Leary, 49, as well as regular guest Vanessa Feltz, 60, debated whether it’s acceptable to sing along during musicals.

The discussion had been in response to reports that a performance of The Bodyguard in Manchester had been cut short after a brawl broke out when the audience decided to sing over the performers.

Alison has since shared a lengthy statement on social media apologising for her comments on the ITV show. Choreographer and theatre director Arlene, 79, responded to Alison's apology, telling her she has "no idea" what it is like for theatre performers when "the audience feel entitled to join in".

The former Strictly Come Dancing judge wrote: "Alison thank you for your apology but I would just like to say, you have no idea what it is really like for those performers in the shows where the songs are popular hits and certain members of the audience feel entitled to join in.

"Performers are unsure what to do. They are not trained when audiences get out of control and arguing with each other. It’s so distressing. Let’s hope this behaviour stops and normality returns."

Alison shared her apology on Sunday evening following backlash from viewers. The TV presenter said in her statement: "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.

"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."

Alison continued: "I am a great supporter 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 thought over the past few days and believe I was wrong."

"On Thursday evening I attended a performance of the GBBO the musical which I absolutely loved and gave a standing ovation, theatre is a magical experience for me and my family,” she added.

"I want to use my platform for good as always and want to stand up with the performers, front of house and theatre staff especially after seeing what happened at The Bodyguard in Manchester, which has made me sick to my stomach. Once again I am truly sorry but trust me I will do better in the future."

Dermot has also responded to criticism following Friday's show.

Taking to Twitter, he shared a statement that read: “A lot of people commenting about a reaction to a story we covered on This Morning about the ‘Bodyguard’ show and audiences singing along.

"Could I politely urge anyone passing judgement on the clip to watch the whole interview… as I was actually arguing AGAINST people singing too loudly in the theatre. Nothing but love and respect for those treading the boards.”

The TV host, who recently completed a half marathon for charity, signed off by joking that he was getting “back to those Easter Eggs.”

Despite the post garnering close to 5000 “likes”, not all of his fans were impressed with the response.

George Sampson, who won Britain’s Got Talent in 2008 and now works as an actor, hit back at Dermot’s statement and branded it a “weird take” before explaining that he feels people shouldn’t sing “at all, at ANY volume” during musicals.


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