Former ‘X Factor’ presenter Kate Thornton has sent a message of support to the contestant who was fat-shamed by the judges in a recently-unearthed clip.
Last week, a tweet with a video of a vintage audition went viral, showing Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh telling pregnant contestant Samantha to lose weight.
After the hopeful, who had missed her own honeymoon to try out for the ITV show, sang a rendition of Mariah Carey’s ‘Hero’, Simon told her: “You sound nice, but you look like a shop girl.”
“I know what you’re saying, that I’m overweight basically,” the contestant replied, with Simon agreeing: “You are. You really are.”
Louis then refused to put her through to the next round, calling her “mission impossible”, before Sharon added: “Missus, go on a diet and we’ll see you at the next round.”
While it was unclear if the judges actually knew Samantha was seven months pregnant, she had informed Kate when she was interviewed by her beforehand.
Responding to the conversation the clip has generated online, Kate admitted her “surprise” at realising the show ridiculed someone in such a way, before praising the way society has changed in the years since her audition.
Speaking to HuffPost UK on an episode of ‘BUILD’, she said: “This has only just been brought to my attention and… I can only be honest with you and say I don’t remember it.
“However, what has transpired is that this young girl was seven months pregnant and she had apparently told me that in an interview piece, so I’m very surprised.
“What I am pleased about is that kind of language and behaviour is no longer tolerated, and that is a good thing.”