Richard Madeley’s ‘shockingly insensitive’ grilling of Emiliano Sala pilot’s wife slammed by viewers

RICHARD Madeley was this morning slammed for his "shockingly insensitive" questions as he interviewed the wife of the missing pilot of Emiliano Sala's plane.

David Ibbotson, 59, was flying the £15million Cardiff City striker from Nantes to the Welsh capital when the single propeller aeroplane crashed into the sea near Alderney on January 21.

Good Morning Britain13 David Ibbotson's daughter Danielle and wife Nora broke down in tears as they vowed to keep searching for him
Richard Madeley's 'shockingly insensitive' grilling of Emiliano Sala pilot's wife slammed by viewers13 The family said they knew the dad and husband would be 'coming home'

A huge search saw Sala's body found in the plane's wreckage on February 4 – with the family of pilot Mr Ibbotson now fundraising to continue the search for the 59-year-old.

David Ibbotson's daughter Danielle and wife Nora, 60, today told Good Morning Britain they were still holding out hope the dad and husband would be found.

But stand-in host Richard Madeley was accused of being insensitive for his clunky questioning of the grieving wife and daughter of Mr Ibbotson.

During the interview, the presenter asked: "Tell us just why it's so important to recover the person that's lost. Psychologically, why's it so important to you to have him back?"

The pair then explained they wanted their family unit to be reunited, with Nora saying: "So we can go and visit him, and just to know that he's there."

But viewers reacted angrily, with one saying: "Richard Madeley really does ask some ridiculous & insensitive questions as an interviewer!"

Another added: "Richard doesn't half ask some weird questions."

One even called for Piers Morgan to return from his holidays to take up the presenting role.

If you've got hope, you shouldn't give up

DanielleDavid Ibbotson's daughter

The emotional interview today saw both women break down as they vowed not to give up searching for the pilot.

A tearful Danielle said: "If you've got hope, you shouldn't give up. He wouldn't stop searching for me."

The young woman sobbed as she recounted desperately trying to ring her dad's phone after receiving the news his plane had disappeared.

Mr Ibbotson's wife Nora added: "We can't leave him out there on his own."

She said she had been praying for the family of footballer Sala, since the tragedy had first unfolded.

The grieving 60-year-old said: "(It's like) that football song – he's coming home. And he will, definitely."

Nora said she had spoken to her husband – who had been flying for 29 years – before the flight took off, but said he had not raised any concerns about the weather or conditions.

She said: "He didn't raise any concerns to me about it – he said the weather was fine."

THE SEARCH CONTINUES

The family has since launched a GoFund Me page to help fund the search for Mr Ibbotson – pleading “we need him home so that we are able to lay him to rest”.

And they were given a huge boost by Kylian Mbappe, who donated £27,000 to the search while Gary Lineker added £1,000 to the fundraiser.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) stated the search had been brought to an end and the operation to raise the wreckage abandoned due to bad weather.

But on Friday Sala’s family urged authorities to continue looking for the pilot’s body.

They said in a statement: "It is with infinite sadness that we confirm the identity of Emiliano's body.

"We would like to thank you for all your signs of affection and support in what is the most painful time of our lives.

"Seeing the whole world mobilised to support us in our research has been an infinitely precious help. Thanks to you, we are now able to mourn our son, our brother.

"On this Friday morning, our thoughts go to David Ibbotson and his family, hoping that the authorities will do their best to find him."

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The wreckage was discovered by the AAIB and robots subs were used to pull the body out of the 220ft-deep water "in as dignified a way as possible"..

The AAIB said: "In challenging conditions, the AAIB and its specialist contractors successfully recovered the body previously seen amidst the wreckage.

"The operation was carried out in as dignified a way as possible and the families were kept informed of progress."

Daughter of Sala plane crash pilot David Ibbotson, Danielle Ibbotson, breaks down as she talks about ringing his mobile phone
Richard Madeley's 'shockingly insensitive' grilling of Emiliano Sala pilot's wife slammed by viewers13 Footballer Emiliano Sala's body was recovered from the plane wreckage
Richard Madeley's 'shockingly insensitive' grilling of Emiliano Sala pilot's wife slammed by viewerstwitter13 Viewers blasted Richard Madeley for his insensitive questions, calling for Piers Morgan to come back
Richard Madeley's 'shockingly insensitive' grilling of Emiliano Sala pilot's wife slammed by viewerstwitter13 Some said he asked 'daft' questions
Richard Madeley's 'shockingly insensitive' grilling of Emiliano Sala pilot's wife slammed by viewerstwitter13 Others said the questions were 'absolutely ridiculous'
Richard Madeley's 'shockingly insensitive' grilling of Emiliano Sala pilot's wife slammed by viewersGood Morning Britain13 Nora, 60, said she had been praying her husband was found
Richard Madeley's 'shockingly insensitive' grilling of Emiliano Sala pilot's wife slammed by viewers13 David Ibbotson, right, tagged himself landing at Nantes Airport on Saturday
Richard Madeley's 'shockingly insensitive' grilling of Emiliano Sala pilot's wife slammed by viewersGood Morning Britain13 The mum and daughter said they wouldn't rest until they found him
Richard Madeley's 'shockingly insensitive' grilling of Emiliano Sala pilot's wife slammed by viewersRefer to Caption13 Nora said she wanted more search teams to help find her husband
Richard Madeley's 'shockingly insensitive' grilling of Emiliano Sala pilot's wife slammed by viewersPA:Press Association13 A body was recovered from the wreckage of the plane on February 7
Richard Madeley's 'shockingly insensitive' grilling of Emiliano Sala pilot's wife slammed by viewersgood morning britain13 Richard Madeley was criticised for his clunky interview questions
Richard Madeley's 'shockingly insensitive' grilling of Emiliano Sala pilot's wife slammed by viewers13 Part of the wreckage of the plane flown by David Ibbotson
Emiliano Sala – Crowdfunded team led by David Mearns discover the location of the crashed aircraft, before the AAIB use a camera to confirm the identity of the plane

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