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GMB's Ed Balls comforted by Susanna Reid after breaking down in tears live on-air

Ed became emotional whilst speaking about his stammer

Ed Balls in tears as Susanna Reid comforts him
Nicky Morris
Nicky MorrisTV and film writer
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Ed Balls was comforted by his Good Morning Britain co-host Susanna Reid after breaking down in tears during an emotional interview with Gareth Gates. 

Gareth, who won Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins 2023, opened up about his stammer and how he used the show as a platform to raise awareness.

WATCH: Ed Balls breaks down in tears on GMB

"My speech is massively effected if I'm tired, under pressure, or stressed," Gareth explained. "It's a very hostile environment, that's the nature of the show, to push you to your limits.

"They try to break you down to build you back up, and as a result of that I'm much more confident now and I got a lot out of the show."

Ed then took the opportunity to hail Gareth as his "role model" and thank him for giving him the confidence to speak openly about his stammer. 

Ed Balls in tears on GMB© ITV
Ed Balls broke down in tears on GMB

"Can I say, for me to meet you and talk to you is such an honour, because you were a huge role model to me when I wasn't talking publicly about my stammer, I was a cabinet minister," said Ed. 

"You were out there, having a stammer and also showing you could be at the top of your game being a star, and you gave me confidence."

The former politician continued: "For very many children or their parents watching this programme, the things we say to them about what you can do in your life, you can be an SAS winner, a top singer, a presenter of breakfast television and read the autocue with a stammer.

"It's amazing, and you inspire people."

Ed Balls in tears on GMB with Gareth Gates© ITV
Ed praised Gareth Gates as his 'role model'

Ed later became emotional, telling Gareth: "You inspired me, you really did. I thought if Gareth Gates can do this, I can too.

"If he can be public, I can be too. It was really hard but I did it because you showed me how to do it."

As Ed became teary-eyed, Susanna stepped in to comfort him, placing her arm around his back before encouraging the pair to share a hug. 

Ed Balls and Gareth Gates hugging on GMB© ITV
Susanna encouraged Ed and Gareth to share a hug

Gareth then praised Ed, saying: "You're a role model for me now. For you to be doing this is really incredible. Well done."

READ: All there is to know about Susanna Reid's love life history

This isn't the first time Ed has opened up about his stammer. He previously revealed that he only discovered that he had a speech impediment after landing his role in government. "I didn't know it was a stammer until I was already in the Cabinet I’d found out that I had a challenge while speaking publicly in certain situations," he told The Independent in 2021. 

"I spent two or three years trying to find out what it was and trying to work out how to handle the fact that sometimes my speeches dried up in TV interviews and in the House of Commons.

susanna and ed balls itv© Photo: Rex
Ed is a regular host on GMB alongside Susanna

"It got worse when I became a Cabinet minister. We went off to investigate and was told it was an 'interiorised stammer'."