This Morning: Holly and Phil open show with sign language

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At the beginning of Tuesday’s This Morning, ITV hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield greeted viewers with some sign language to mark deaf awareness week. However, after ITV shared the clip on social media, a lot of viewers felt upset there wasn’t an interpreter or any subtitles on the video that would help people to understand the context of what the hosts were doing. The clip shared to Twitter has since been amended with subtitles.

“Welcome to your Tuesday This Morning,” Holly began after signing.

Phillip continued: “We started today’s programme by signing ‘Hello, good morning,’ and that’s because it’s Deaf Awareness Week.

“Across all of the daytime shows, we are raising awareness of hearing loss, which affects one in six adults in the UK.”

Holly added: “Well this year’s theme is coming through it together and aims to highlight the importance of improving the quality of services for the deaf community.”

The segment sparked a backlash from viewers with many taking to Twitter to air their thoughts.

Some branded it “embarrassing” and “cringe-worthy” for not captioning what Holly and Phillip were doing and saying so people could understand the context.

One viewer raged: “The irony of starting a programme on Deaf Awareness Week in the UK with zero subtitlings or sign language rather underlines the need for Deaf Awareness Week.”

Another said: “This is so embarrassing now, I don’t understand why you haven’t acknowledged & apologised for not captioning, or at least reuploaded this with captions? It’s like… you genuinely don’t care. shock!”


A third penned: “No captions….like where?… nice. ID: Kirsty is signing to the screen, wearing a pink T-shirt and glasses with a gold necklace that has the initials KJ.” (sic)

A fourth viewer said they were gutted for the production team who “got this wrong”, as they said: “This is not raising Deaf Awareness. Subtitles are needed. It wasn’t Good Morning you signed. Whoever is teaching you to be ‘Deaf Aware’ question it immediately.”

“Please tell me you can see the irony in talking about deaf awareness and then not captioning your content so, beyond the first few words (and that’s only if they are BSL users) the very people you’re raising awareness for can’t understand you?” a fifth wrote.

A sixth tweeted: “This is so cringeworthy. How can you honestly post this with no captions? Why don’t you have a deaf presenter, there are so many and so many young deaf social media people who could do it!”

Despite the backlash from some, other viewers took to social media to praise This Morning for highlighting deaf awareness week.

Some also suggested the show has an interpreter permanently so that it is always inclusive of deaf people.

One penned: “I think it’s great that you did something to raise awareness.

“Why not have someone sign the whole show live? If nothing else, it would show how hard you have to work to communicate when deaf. Subtitles too please!”

Another said: “It’s great to see closed captions on this video (accessible by clicking) but it’d be even better if you had live captions and/or a qualified BSL interpreter! Great to see you heading in the right direction though, maybe it’ll continue.”

“I think it is important to have sign interpreters on your show,” one viewer tweeted.

“My husband and I have been learning sign language for over a year now and we really enjoy it. Everyone should learn it. We have had great conversations with those in the deaf community.” has contacted ITV for comment.

This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.

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