This Morning bosses ordered Cat Deeley to apologise live on air for 'seizure' dance joke because they are 'desperate to avoid any more controversy' on scandal-hit show, insiders claim

This Morning bosses ordered Cat Deeley to apologise after she sparked a backlash with her seizure joke on Monday's show because they are 'desperate to avoid any more controversy', insiders have claimed.

The host, 47, apologised for making the gag in which she poked fun at her own dance moves to Meghan Trainor's song All About The Bass, joking it looked like she was having a seizure.

The joke was condemned by The Epilepsy Society, who said that seizures are 'no laughing matter.'

MailOnline can reveal show chiefs asked Cat to say sorry live on air nearly 24 hours later over fears the controversy-hit show could become embroiled in a fresh row.

A show insider said: 'This Morning are so worried about offending anybody they asked Cat to apologise, hoping that would be the end of the matter. It's not something she suggested, but understood the decision.

'The show is desperate to avoid any controversy after what's happened over the past two years. But there is a feeling behind the scenes the apology wasn't overly necessary.'

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This Morning viewers have backed Cat Deeley after she was forced to apologise over a joke made during Monday's show

This Morning viewers have backed Cat Deeley after she was forced to apologise over a joke made during Monday's show

Cat apologised for making the gag in which she poked fun at her own dance moves to Meghan Trainor 's song All About The Bass, joking it looked like she was having a seizure

Cat apologised for making the gag in which she poked fun at her own dance moves to Meghan Trainor 's song All About The Bass, joking it looked like she was having a seizure

MailOnline can reveal show chiefs asked Cat to say sorry live on air nearly 24 hours later over fears the controversy-hit show could become embroiled in a fresh row. Pictured: Former show hosts Phil and Holly with the young man that Phil admitted to having an affair with

MailOnline can reveal show chiefs asked Cat to say sorry live on air nearly 24 hours later over fears the controversy-hit show could become embroiled in a fresh row. Pictured: Former show hosts Phil and Holly with the young man that Phil admitted to having an affair with

Fans hit out at the decision to make Cat apologise, claiming it was just an innocent quip and that she should not have been taken to task over it.

One tweeted: 'She was making fun of herself and not people that have seizures. Sometimes we need to be less critical. It was clearly a joke on herself.'

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This Morning viewers back Cat Deeley after she was forced to apologise for joking about 'seizures'

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Another said: ''I did think it was the wrong thing for her to say. I reckon she didn't mean any harm, bad mistake.'

And a third wrote: 'The British sense of humour is doomed! Get a grip. It was a joke at her expense, not other people.'

Cat addressed the backlash in the opening moments of Tuesday's This Morning, and said: '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.'

In the previous day's episode, Cat had made the brief remark while introducing an interview with singer Meghan Trainor.

As they played her famous 2014 song, Cat showed off her dance moves before telling co-host Ben Shephard: 'Nothing to see here. Yeah, I'm fine, just having a seizure.'

Insiders claim that This Morning did not want to risk another controversy on the scandal-hit show.

Cat and Ben were unveiled as the new This Morning hosts in February following a tumultuous period for the daytime show which saw the exit of both Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.

Holly left the show last October 'for the sake of her family' after discovering she was the target of a foiled kidnap and murder plot.

It came five months after Phillip's departure after he admitted to the Mail that he had an affair with a young male showrunner, followed by claims of an increasingly strained relationship with his co-host.

In 2022 both had also faced criticism over claims they skipped the queue for the late Queen's lying-in-state while attending as members of the media to film a segment for This Morning.

Cat Deeley apologises for making a 'seizure' dance joke on This Morning on Monday

Cat Deeley apologises for making a 'seizure' dance joke on This Morning on Monday

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Phil and Holly Willoughby are pictured hosting this morning in May 2023 shortly before Phil resigned

Phil and Holly Willoughby are pictured hosting this morning in May 2023 shortly before Phil resigned

Phillip also stepped down from Dancing On Ice as Stephen Mulhern took his place for January's series (pictured 2023)

Phillip also stepped down from Dancing On Ice as Stephen Mulhern took his place for January's series (pictured 2023)

In 2022 Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield faced criticism over claims they skipped the queue for the late Queen's lying-in-state while attending as members of the media to film a segment for This Morning

In 2022 Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield faced criticism over claims they skipped the queue for the late Queen's lying-in-state while attending as members of the media to film a segment for This Morning

Phil and ITV star Declan Donnelly were snapped together in London last month after a four-hour dinner at a restaurant close to their homes

Phil and ITV star Declan Donnelly were snapped together in London last month after a four-hour dinner at a restaurant close to their homes

Phillip bowed out of the spotlight after his affair scandal last May, which led to his departure from This Morning after over 20 years on the show.

After much speculation about his private life, his affair finally went public and he admitted he had been left 'broken and ashamed' but insisted he was not a groomer.

He said the affair 'never came across' as an abuse of power because he and his lover were 'mates'.

He told The Sun at the time: 'I was unprofessional, one time, in a 41-year career. There is no excuse. No one did anything wrong apart from me.'

In his first interview since leaving the broadcaster and This Morning, the 61-year-old presenter said: 'I did not, I did not [groom him].

'There are accusations of all sorts of things. It never came across that way because we'd become mates. I don't know about that. But of course I understand that there will be a massive judgment, but bearing in mind, I have never exercised that.'

It has been revealed that the 61-year-old paid his former lover a six-figure sum in return for signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) which means the younger man is prevented from ever talking about their relationship.

A lawyer acting for Schofield confirmed a deal was signed with last year which included a 'mutual non-disclosure provision' and payment to compensate the man for losses suffered.

At the time, Phillip offered a number of apologies, including to his co-presenter of 14 years Holly and his wife of 30 years, Stephanie Lowe.

ITV bosses published a review into the scandal and the toxic working culture at This Morning in December.

The review, conducted by an independent lawyer, Jane Mulcahy KC, was blasted by furious ITV staff as a 'whitewash' at the time. One employee told the Mail of their 'sheer bewilderment' that only one junior worker was aware of the relationship.

The report found that ITV did not cover-up the relationship and that station bosses had made 'considerable efforts' to discover the truth in 2019 – four years before the affair broke.

Holly Willoughby quit This Morning after 14 years - saying that the decision had come about for the sake of herself and her family

Holly Willoughby quit This Morning after 14 years - saying that the decision had come about for the sake of herself and her family

Ms Willoughby's decision to quite threw This Morning into further disarray following the departure of Phillip Schofield (pictured with Holly in February 2020, when he came out as gay live on the programme)

Ms Willoughby's decision to quite threw This Morning into further disarray following the departure of Phillip Schofield (pictured with Holly in February 2020, when he came out as gay live on the programme)

Ms Willoughby makes her debut as a presenter with Phillip Schofield on This Morning in 2009. The pair's presenting chemistry made them darlings of daytime TV

Ms Willoughby makes her debut as a presenter with Phillip Schofield on This Morning in 2009. The pair's presenting chemistry made them darlings of daytime TV

Phil and Holly's post-National Television Awards show in 2016 have became the stuff of side-splitting legend in one of many highlights the pair shared on screen

Phil and Holly's post-National Television Awards show in 2016 have became the stuff of side-splitting legend in one of many highlights the pair shared on screen

Phil and Holly were officially replaced by Ben Shephard and Cat Deeley in March as the two took on the show full time after a series of guest presenters had been rotating the daytime slot

Phil and Holly were officially replaced by Ben Shephard and Cat Deeley in March as the two took on the show full time after a series of guest presenters had been rotating the daytime slot

The external review found that the channel was 'unable to uncover the relevant evidence' until Schofield's own admission in May when he told the Mail that he had been having the relationship and later lied about it.

ITV bosses have said both Schofield and his former lover, a runner who has never been named, 'repeatedly denied' allegations of a relationship until the star dramatically quit ITV and formally apologised.

It added that only one person out of 48 interviewed – a junior employee – said they knew about the presenter's relationship with a younger male former colleague before he revealed it in May.

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EXCLUSIVE

Phillip Schofield and his wife Stephanie are spotted carrying matching brown cockapoos 'from the same litter' on his 62nd birthday

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Ms Mulcahy revealed that Schofield refused to take part in the review into the circumstances surrounding the his departure because of 'the risk to his health'. She added that she was informed that the host's mental health had since deteriorated.

Schofield's former colleague and lover also declined to participate in the report

Despite going into hiding for around a year, Phil has made a flurry of appearances in recent weeks amid rumours that he is plotting a return to TV.

Friends of the presenter told The Sun last month that although they have been pushing for him to return to the spotlight, he himself has reservations.

The source explained that Phillip is being supported by his friends at ITV including Alison Hammond and Ant and Dec.

Phil and Declan Donnelly were snapped together in London last week after a four-hour dinner at a restaurant close to their homes.

An insider has told newspaper of Phil's support network: 'They have all been rallying around him and their support, especially from Dec who is such a good friend, has really helped Phil.'

'Some TV executives have been in touch with Phil about a possible return and his friends have told him he should consider it.

'Phil is still shell shocked by everything that happened last year and is happy at the moment to focus on rebuilding his life with the support of his friends and family.

'Whether he will make a comeback — whether it's on TV or radio — is still undecided but the offers are there if he wants to pursue them. His friends have told him they will support him all the way.'

Fans were quick to defend Cat, noting that she 'didn't mean any harm' and the backlash was 'a bit of an overreaction'

Fans were quick to defend Cat, noting that she 'didn't mean any harm' and the backlash was 'a bit of an overreaction'

This Morning was hit by a fresh crisis last month, with 'viewing figures plummeting by half', according to new reports.

Since hosts Cat and Ben took over Holly and Phil's slot, half a million viewers have stopped tuning into the ITV Daytime show.

With over a million viewers watching Ben and Cat's first day back in March, two months later figures currently stand at less than 500,000 - a dramatic drop.

The decline in viewers comes after former This Morning presenter Fern Britton, 66, hinted that 'she's in talks to return to the ITV show'.

According to The Sun, a source said: 'Nobody at This Morning thought viewing figures would dip beneath the landmark low of half a million.

'The arrival of Ben and Cat was supposed to spark a resurgence and hopefully keep the ratings above the million mark. But within a couple of weeks it became apparent they hadn't done the trick while their nemesis Morning Live stayed strong.

'Now there is a massive question mark lingering over the future of the show as it's difficult to justify the huge costs of making a live, daily show, especially at a time when ad revenues for linear TV are so low.'

This Morning's rival BBC Morning Live is reportedly raking in between one million to 1.4million views.

When Cat and Ben were unveiled as the show's new hosts, their debut episode drew an average viewership of 806,000 and a peak of one million - among the show's highest ratings of 2024 so far.

But the following week saw the figure plunge to as low as 692,500, lower than both Holly and Phillip's last day, which saw 767,00 people tune in.

A source told The Sun at the time: 'The hope was that the new duo would bring back an air of stability and familiarity back to This Morning. It's still relatively early days, but the signs are not good.'

They added: 'After the initial flurry of interest on their first day in the job, the viewing figures almost immediately dipped back into six figures.

'ITV bosses will be hoping they can turn things around before the next big milestone date as they've so much riding on Ben and Cat being a success.'

A spokesperson told MailOnline on Sunday: 'As a broadcaster and streamer, ITV has a range of programming in its Daytime schedules. This Morning reached an average 4.2 million viewers a week in April alone, its highest so far in 2024.'

'In 2023 This Morning was one of the most streamed shows on ITVX. Like all media, This Morning has expanded into the digital sphere with record breaking results.'

'This Morning remains Britain's most talked about and influential daytime TV show and has never had a better connection with its viewer, with just under 160 million video views of This Morning content and reached 63 million unique social media accounts in April.'

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