- The radio host Steve Allen called Tilly Ramsay “chubby” in an October segment.
- The UK media regulator Ofcom said it will not investigate Allen after 860 complaints were lodged.
- Ramsay is a TikTok star with over 9.7 million followers.
The United Kingdom’s media regulator said it won’t investigate radio host Steve Allen after he called teen influencer Tilly Ramsay “chubby” on-air.
Allen called celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s daughter a “chubby little thing” in an October segment of “Leading Britain’s Conversation” (LBC) and said it was “probably her dad’s cooking.” The incident resulted in major online backlash and over 860 complaints about the 67-year-old host being sent to the Office of Communications (Ofcom), the British government’s media regulator, according to its website.
Ofcom added Allen to its online list of “Standards complaints assessed, not pursued,” which denotes “complaints that, after careful assessment, Ofcom has decided not to pursue because they did not raise issues warranting investigation,” the government agency said. Insider was unable to verify when Allen was added to the list.
An Ofcom representative told Insider in a statement that they aren’t pursuing the complaints due to “the brevity of the comments and the likely audience’s expectations of this provocative presenter” and the show.
Allen has reportedly made inflammatory comments on his show before, including in 2015 when he said that London Underground workers on strike should be beaten up, according to The Guardian. The LBC website once described him as a host with a “caustic tongue,” The Guardian reported.
“We have provided guidance to LBC to take greater care in future. Given societal concerns about body image pressures on young people, the presenter’s criticism of a young woman’s appearance could have led to an adverse effect on wellbeing and mental health,” Ofcom said in the statement.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Tilly has not made a public comment about Ofcom’s decision to not pursue anything in relation to the incident.
Tilly Ramsay, whose real name is Matilda, is a 20-year-old social media influencer with over 9.7 million followers and 110 million likes on TikTok, and over 1.2 million followers on Instagram. She also presented the BBC family cooking TV show “Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch,” which aired from 2015 to 2019, and competed in the 19th season of the BBC dance competition series “Strictly Come Dancing.”
After Allen’s comments spread around the internet, Tilly responded the same day on Instagram.
“I try not to read and listen to comments and negativity however recently being called out on a national radio station by a 67-year-old man is a step too far,” Tilly wrote at the start of the letter, posted October 20. “Steve please feel free voice your opinions however I draw the line at commenting on my appearance [sic],” she wrote.
Her post went viral, accumulating over 520,000 likes and 25,000 comments. A slew of public figures came out to support her, including BBC London weather presenter Kate Kinsella, the British actor Jason Manford, and youth mental health ambassador Dr. Alex George.
Gordon later defended his daughter’s actions, saying in an October 27 Instagram Live that he was proud of Tilly and that her decision to stand up for herself was “a breath of fresh air.”
LBC, Allen, Ofcom, and Tilly did not immediately respond to requests for comment.