Hundreds complain to Ofcom about Steve Allen’s comments on Tilly Ramsay

Radio host Steve Allen has attracted 840 complaints after describing Strictly Come Dancing contestant Tilly Ramsay as a “chubby little thing” live on air.

Allen, 67, has faced criticism after saying on LBC radio on October 18 that he was “bored” with the 19-year-old’s performances on the BBC show.

He added 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”.

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom said it had received 840 complaints relating to Allen’s comments about Ramsay.

Strictly Come Dancing 2021
Tilly Ramsay on Strictly (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

A spokeswoman said: “We are assessing the complaints against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate.”

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.”

His comments attracted criticism from figures including former Love Island star Dr Alex George, who was appointed a youth mental health ambassador for the Government earlier this year.

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.”

Allen contacted Ramsay last week to issue a private apology.