I’m not sure why anyone would write to Richard Madeley for advice on what to do about their potentially dangerous neighbours, but he ended up giving some shocking advice to someone who did.
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Madeley, who runs an Agony Uncle column in The Telegraph, was responding to a letter from an anonymous reader who was concerned about ‘bangs and crashes and shouting’ coming from a neighbour’s house ‘most nights’.
Worried about a potential domestic abuse situation next door and noting they don’t feel able to address them directly, the reader wrote:
Due to the strange nightly activity and fighting, I feel conflicted, as things just don’t seem right.
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.
64-year-old Madeley suggested that ‘drink is at the root of this’, saying it was the ‘obvious explanation for the noise’, and wrote:
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 recalled his own experience where he once asked noisy neighbours to keep it down, they were ‘mortified’ and hadn’t realised how loud they were being when drunk, and continued:
You could try that; a polite, controlled “intervention”. But I’d stop worrying that things “aren’t right”.
If they were going to kill each other, they’d have done it by now.
Wow, “if they were going to kill each other, they’d have done it by now.” Great advice, Richard!
A photo of Madeley’s advice began circulating online, where it attracted major criticism:
This advice is alarming @richardm56. In many Domestic Homicide Reviews the neighbours were aware but did nothing thinking it was a ‘private issue’. Saying ‘I think they’re both just fine. If they were going to kill each other, they’d have done it by now” is unhelpful. Pls retract https://t.co/oV2pEUTPyW pic.twitter.com/mZQhBdndFm
— Gudrun Burnet (@GudrunBurnet) June 29, 2020
Fair play to Richard – after catching flack not just from social media users but also domestic abuse charities around the country, he apologised:
Hi https://t.co/2QCm7KNHsf critics 2day are absolutely right – I misjudged this one, tonally and in content. SO annoyed with self. Have reached out this afternoon 2 various people to apologise+will address it in Saturday’ paper. Mea Culpa.
— Richard Madeley (@richardm56) June 30, 2020
Good stuff. Hopefully the anonymous reader’s neighbours don’t wind up killing each other before he gets to read Richard’s retraction in next Saturday’s paper. Or that he’s got the good sense to ignore Richard’s advice completely if shit starts to go down. Wonder what Judy has to say about all this?
For the time Richard Madeley interviewed a naked Brexit protester on live TV, click HERE.