Radio host Steve Allen has sent a private apology to Strictly Come Dancing contestant Tilly Ramsay after describing her as a “chubby little thing” live on air.
Allen, 67, faced criticism after saying on LBC radio that he was “bored” with the 19-year-old’s performances on the BBC show and her physical appearance was probably to do with “her dad’s cooking”.
CBBC presenter Ramsay, daughter of celebrity chef Gordon, hit back on social media, saying she “won’t tolerate people that think it’s OK to publicly comment and scrutinise anyone’s weight and appearance”.
Allen contacted her earlier this week to issue an apology, the PA news agency understands.
On his radio show, Allen had read out a comment from a listener telling him the teenager is taking part in Celebrity MasterChef Australia.
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.”
Former Love Island star Dr Alex George, who was appointed a youth mental health ambassador for the Government earlier this year, criticised his comments.
He shared a screenshot of an email he sent to LBC about the incident on Instagram and said he was “absolutely horrified” by the remarks.
Ramsay was also inundated with support from her Strictly co-stars, with It Takes Two presenter Janette Manrara writing: “How fast we forget what hurtful comments can do for someone’s mental health.”
Saturday’s episode of Strictly saw Ramsay secure third place on the leaderboard with 36 points.
After her dance, she spoke of her joy after a “difficult week of training”.