Comedian and TV presenter Rufus Hound has used an appearance on ITV’s Dancing on Ice to shame the government over its handling the free school meals fiasco.
Hound, a contestant on the show, joked that the only thing crazier than appearing on the programme was a government that refused to feed hungry children during the holidays.
The government faced sustained criticism last year when it refused to provide disadvantaged children with free school meals while they were on break.
No 10 eventually folded thanks to pressure from Manchester United footballer and anti-poverty campaigner Marcus Rashford but faced renewed criticism after parents uploaded pictures online of meagre food portions.
After completing his performance on Sunday evening, presenter Phillip Schofield asked Hound if he ever imagined that he would be here a year ago.
An emotional Hound responded by flipping the question on its head and taking aim at the Tory government over the continued controversy.
He said: “Mate, we live in a world where people we elect don’t want to feed hungry children, so this is the least mad thing that’s happened to me in a long time!”
It was not long before the clip began circulating on Twitter.
Rachel West posted: “Rufus Hound calling out our disgusting government live on prime time TV. Perfect.”
— Rachel West (@RachWest) January 17, 2021
Jayne Sharp wrote: “Congratulations @RufusHound. You had us in tears. Utterly deserved. The perfect speech from the loveliest bloke.”
Lo added: “The way Rufus Hound just called out our government for not feeding hungry children, this man has won already #DancingOnIce.”
The way Rufus Hound just called out our government for not feeding hungry children, this man has won already #DancingOnIce
— lo ♡ (@loisemilyyy) January 17, 2021
Others were less than impressed.
John Duffy wrote: “Yet more politics being brought into what is meant to be lighthearted entertainment. It’s making my anxiety go through the roof because it seems that there is now nowhere to get away from it.”
Pete Brown followed up: “This is bringing politics into mainstream family entertainment, which brings us into a whole new territory. Sad that we have come to this, where activists with a platform are allowed to vent their rhetoric, without any opportunity for others to counter their claim.”
Responding to criticism online, Hound wrote: “To the people who want to be cross with me – you were never going to be my friend. I wish it were different, but such is the world we now live in. To everyone else, thanks for all your lovely messages. I will try to keep doing funny ice dances for you x.”
To the people who want to be cross with me – you were never going to be my friend. I wish it were different, but such is the world we now live in.
To everyone else, thanks for all your lovely messages. I will try to keep doing funny ice dances for you x
— Rufus Hound 💙 (@RufusHound) January 17, 2021