Good Morning Britain star Ed Balls breaks down in tears on live TV as he opens up on stammering with Gareth Gates

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Good Morning Britain presenter Ed Balls broke down in tears during an interview with Gareth Gates.

In a flashback segment on Tuesday (July 9), Ed was seen with tears in his eyes as he spoke to the Pop Idol star about their shared "struggles" with stammering.

The former Labour politician said: “You inspired me. I thought, ‘If Gareth Gates can do this, I can too. And if he can be public, I can be public too. It was really hard, but I did it because you showed me how to do it.” Gareth replied: “Thank you for saying that, it means a lot. God bless you, man.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Good Morning Britain presenter Ed Balls breaks down in tears during an interview with Gareth Gates. Good Morning Britain presenter Ed Balls breaks down in tears during an interview with Gareth Gates.
Good Morning Britain presenter Ed Balls breaks down in tears during an interview with Gareth Gates. | Getty Images

As Ed's emotions took over, fellow presenter Susanna Reid placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder and said: “Aww! I feel like… can we have a hug?” She continued, “Nothing to be ashamed of. It’s to be proud of – it’s part of your identity, isn’t it! (Gareth) broke the ground for you, didn’t he, Ed? There we go, Gareth, that’s what you did.” Gareth, equally moved, told Ed: “You’re a role model for me now! For you to be doing this is really incredible.”

Originally aired in November 2023, the segment was revisited this week as Gareth returned to discuss his stammer with Ed. The father-of-three said: "I had a call a few weeks ago from the newly elected mayor of North Yorkshire, David Skaith, who's had a stammer all his life. His stammer came out during his first interview, and I said to him, 'Look at Gareth, you've got to talk about it'. He's in Downing Street this morning with a stammer, and he is going to be another role model for young people.

"You can become an elected mayor with a stammer. You can be Pop Idol winner, the winner of Celebrity SAS. All of these things are possible with a stammer!" Ed concluded, as Gareth added: "You can also present every morning live on television, Ed, and I applaud you too!"

Ed admitted he relies on the autocue to get him through, saying he's "almost always" okay using that method. Viewers have since praised both men for opening up about their struggles, as there are many still having difficulties facing them.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

One viewer said: “Inspired by this, always suffered at school with my speech . Hope it helps those who have this problem, especially youngsters, who want to hide away.” Another said: “What an inspiration , especially as it's men's mental health month.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.