Ex-BBC presenter Nick Hancock has said that he is “appalled at himself” for making jokes about Luke Chadwick after the former Manchester United midfielder opened up on the torment he suffered during his time at Old Trafford.
Hancock hosted BBC’s panel show ‘They Think It’s All Over’ which would frequently make fun of Chadwick’s appearance in the early 2000s just as he was making the breakthrough at United.
Chadwick, who won two league titles during his time at Man United, spoke to The Athletic last week and opened up on the ridicule he suffered during his time at Old Trafford. He said that he would dread every Friday for fear the mockery from the show would continue.
“I would dread every Friday. I wasn’t a hugely confident guy anyway and this just made it worse. I used to half-watch it, hoping and praying that they would stop.
“But they never did. It just carried on and on. Because it was silly and childish, if it had happened once, I don’t think it would have been that much of a problem. It was the continuation every single week that really got to me. They would bring me up every week.
“I have always asked myself whether I should have tried to speak to them (the BBC) about it. As a 19 or 20-year-old boy, would it have been possible to speak to someone at the BBC and stop them talking about me? Or would they have carried on anyway? You’d like to think it would have stopped. But I don’t know. At the time, it was just accepted.”
Hancock spoke to the BBC on Monday and admitted that he and others on the show should have thought more about the effect the constant ridicule would have on Chadwick, who was only a young player at the time.
“Listening to Luke is incredibly humbling, he’s shown so much more generosity and understanding and good judgment than we did at the time,” he said.
“I’m appalled for him and at myself. When I hear him speaking, I’m full of admiration for the present Luke Chadwick and full of sympathy for the young Luke Chadwick. The terrible thing about comedians and comedy shows is that if you’re getting laughs, you think you’re doing a good job.
“Of course the worst thing for Luke was that it became a bit of a running joke. To us, it was a photograph. That’s not good obviously, we should have been thinking about the person, but that’s what can happen.”
Chadwick left Man United in 2004 and went on to play for West Ham United, Stoke City, Norwich City, MK Dons and Cambridge United before retiring in 2016.