By Charlie Herbert
Gino D’Acampo left viewers cringing after an awkward exchange with Holly Willoughby on his return to This Morning.
You’re probably aware that over the last couple of months, This Morning has been at the centre of a storm following Phillip Schofield’s resignation from ITV over an affair he had with a colleague on the show.
This was after reports that he had fallen out with co-host Willoughby, and when she eventually returned to the show it was with a pre-written statement which didn’t seem to win many viewers over.
On Tuesday morning, another show regular, Gino D’Acampo returned to the show after a month away in Italy.
But, as is so often the case with the flamboyant chef, he couldn’t resist making a probing comment.
Introducing the TV chef after an ad break, host Dermot O’Leary said: “It’s been a while but Gino is finally allowed back in the This Morning kitchen.”
The 46-year-old replied: “I was in Italy for a month and I can’t wait to cook for all of you.”
He opened the segment by saying he had to change his recipe because “apparently I can’t do anything with aubergine”.
This was almost certainly a nod to the bizarre comments made by This Morning boss Martin Frizell when he was asked about allegations of a toxic culture on the show.
This wasn’t the only reference Gino made to the events of the last few weeks on the show.
So far, so good, but he continued: “Everything is under control, I’m back.
“Any news? Anything in the last month that I should know of?”
Funnily enough, it didn’t seem like Holly found his hinting question particularly amusing, as she simply replied: “No news.”
Meanwhile, Dermot looked at the camera whilst awkwardly biting his pen.
Gino then said: “No news, OK, good. So we can go straight into the cooking…”
He couldn’t resist one final comment though, asking: “Why is Dermot not talking anymore, what’s happened?”
Dermot then punctured the awkward air by joking: “We need to rephrase, Gino is back for a one-time only…”
The exchange didn’t go unnoticed by viewers at home, who didn’t seem to mind the unpredictability that Gino had brought on his return.
One wrote on Twitter: “Well Gino doesn’t disappoint does he ‘I’ve been in Italy for a month, any news I need to know about?’ Poor Holly looking awkward.”
Another said: “Bet ‘This Morning’ wish they hadn’t booked Gino today now. I was looking forward to baked aubergine as well!”
A third commented: “Studio fell silent when Gino said ‘any news while I’ve been gone’.”