Saturday Kitchen backlash: Matt Tebbutt sparks uproar after serving guest unsafe dish

Sharleen Spiteri talks about having Coeliac disease

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In an episode of Saturday Kitchen, which aired last month, Matt Tebbutt welcomed Sharleen Spiteri onto the show to sample some of his cooking. During the programme, as Matt was preparing a dish using cheese and bread, the Texas singer told the celebrity chef she suffered from coeliac disease. Coeliac disease is a life-long autoimmune condition that causes severe damage to the body when gluten is consumed. The segment sparked an uproar with viewers after Matt served Sharleen a plate of bread despite her admission about her allergy.

The BBC has since confirmed the broadcaster received 217 viewer complaints after “invitations to complain were posted online”.

According to the BBC’s latest complaints report, viewers felt the segment gave an “inaccurate portrayal of the seriousness of Coeliac disease”.

After the episode aired, viewers took to social media to share their frustration over Matt serving Sharleen bread when she stated she had Coeliac disease.

Lesley raged: “Sent in my first ever formal complaint to the BBC, about #SaturdayKitchen.”

She continued: “I was careful though not to complain about the guest, who was put in a very tricky situation.

“It was the chefs who served bread to a coeliac, twice, and made no attempt to serve safe #glutenfree food.”

Beatrice penned: “I have massive anxiety when eating out because of people not knowing what coeliac disease is, or because they don’t take it seriously enough.

“This show has reinforced what we are fighting against. It is not an allergy, and yes, a crumb makes a difference.” (sic)

Gluten-free author, Becky Excell also shared a clip of the segment on social media.

She captioned the clip: “Four simple words: please never do this!! (if you’re coeliac) This was on @SaturdayKitchen at the weekend.

“I feel a show like this needs to set a MUCH better example for everyone out there who avoids gluten for medical/health reasons.”

“Awful to see Coeliac Disease glossed over/joked about,” Richard tweeted.

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As Matt began the cooking segment, he began: “There’s a little bit of toast here.

“But Sharleen you avoid this, don’t you?”

 “Yeah,” the singer replied as the chef asked: “You like cheese though, right?”

She continued: “I love cheese. The only reason is I love bread don’t get me wrong. I love carbs.”

“I just can’t eat it because it doesn’t like me. I’ve got Coeliac disease.”

“Well, let’s not bring that on,” Matt replied as he continued to peel the apples for the chutney.

Sharleen added: “I won’t pass out or anything. I do have the odd…sometimes I just go for it.”

Express.co.uk has reached out to the BBC for comment.

Saturday Kitchen airs on Saturday at 10am on BBC One.

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