This Morning presenter Eamonn Holmes was today forced to apologise over his 5G rant, admitting that there is ‘no evidence’ of a link connecting the coronavirus and the new technology.
Before kicking off the ITV programme this morning, Mr Holmes said that ‘there is no connection between the present national health emergency and 5G and to suggest otherwise would be wrong and indeed it could be possibly dangerous.’
It comes after the presenter yesterday said it ‘suited the state narrative’ to dismiss bizarre theories that link 5G and the coronavirus.
This morning TV watchdog Ofcom said it is currently dealing with complaints made against Mr Holmes after the regulator received 419 complaints regarding his comments on Monday.
Speaking today a spokesperson for Ofcom told MailOnline that they are currently processing the complaints and that a full statement regarding his comments will be issued later today.
BBC Radio 4 controller Mark Damazer told Radio 4 this morning that the presenter’s ‘wanderings of his mind’ on live TV amounted to a ‘stupid piece of broadcasting’.
Opening the programme today Mr Holmes said: ‘Before we go onto the programme I want to clarify some comments that some of you may have misinterpreted from me yesterday morning around conspiracy theories and the coronavirus and this involved the roll out of 5G.
Mark Damazer (pictured above) said the segment was ‘not something’ that broadcaster ITV would usually show
Eamonn Holmes has been branded ‘irresponsible’ by some viewers over his comments on bizarre theories linking 5G phone masts and the spread of coronavirus on Monday’s episode of This Morning
This Morning host Eamonn Holmes’ 5G ‘clarification’ in full
‘I want to clarify some comments that some of you may have misinterpreted from me yesterday, around conspiracy theories and Coronavirus and this involved the roll out of 5G.
‘Both Alice Beer and myself agreed in a discussion on this very programme on fake news that it is not true that and there is no connection between the present national health emergency and 5G and to suggest otherwise would be wrong and indeed it could be possibly dangerous.
‘Every theory relating to such a connection has been proven to be false and we would like to emphasise that.
‘However, many people are rightly concerned and are looking for answers, and that’s simply what I was trying to impart yesterday but for the avoidance of any doubt I want to make it clear there’s no scientific evidence to substantiate any of those 5G theories.’
‘Both Alice and me agreed in a discussion on this very programme about fake news that it’s not true and there is no connection between the present national health emergency and 5G and to suggest otherwise would be wrong and indeed it could be possibly dangerous.
‘Every theory relating to such a connection has proven to be false, and we would like to emphasise that, however many people are rightly concerned and are looking for answers, and that’s simply what I was trying to do, to impart yesterday.
‘But for the avoidance of any doubt, I want to make it clear there is no scientific evidence to substantiate any of those 5G theories.
‘I hope that clears that up’.
It comes as the former controller of BBC Radio 4 this morning slammed the presenter for his ‘stupid piece of broadcasting’.
Mark Damazer said the segment was ‘not something’ that broadcaster ITV would usually show.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4 today Mr Damazer said: ‘One of the many curious things about Eamonn Holmes’ wonderings of his mind yesterday morning was his attack on the main stream media.
Today Mr Holmes apoligised for his comments on Monday morning’s programme
‘As if ITV, an extremely important part of the British television landscape was not in itself a mainstream media outlet with an audience of millions based on the fact that it is very largely and quite rightly trusted by its audiences.
‘So what he did yesterday wasn’t a minor aberration or a blip, it was a hopelessly irresponsible, philosophically unbelievably light headed stupid piece of broadcasting and it will be up to ITV and Ofcom if they are interested to see what they want to do about it, but it was an aberration, it’s not what ITV usually does’.
Ofcom said they were assessing this as a ‘full priority’.
Mr Holmes was also yesterday branded ‘irresponsible’ for saying it it suits the ‘state narrative’ to dismiss bizarre theories linking the 5G network to the spread of the coronavirus.
He spoke out on the ITV show after presenter Alice Beer branded the conspiracy theories which link them as ‘ridiculous’ and ‘incredibly stupid’.
Holmes, 60, who was co-presenting with wife Ruth Langsford, responded that ‘it’s very easy to say it is not true because it suits the state narrative’.
He told Beer: ‘I totally agree with everything you are saying but what I don’t accept is mainstream media immediately slapping that down as not true when they don’t know it’s not true.
‘No-one should attack or damage or do anything like that but it’s very easy to say it is not true because it suits the state narrative.’
The presenter added: ‘That’s all I would say, as someone with an inquiring mind.’
His made the remarks after scientists dismissed any link, calling it a ‘physical and biological impossibility’ and branding conspiracy theorists ‘a public health danger’.
Viewers criticised the presenter’s comments and accused him of ‘legitimising’ the conspiracy theories.
@vickster51 wrote: ‘So I’ve just heard This Morning presenter Eamonn Holmes legitimise the stories linking the coronavirus lockdown to 5G. On national television. Wow. How irresponsible can you get. Switching off. Hope Holly and Phil are back soon.’
Johnson McJohnson wrote: ‘Does Eamonn Holmes believe the ridiculous 5G conspiracy?!’
Andy Green wrote: ‘Well done Eamonn. You just added more fuel to this 5G conspiracy theory by legitimising what is utter nonsense. You need to research properly before pronouncing.’
MPs have called for social media companies to be held to account following reports of phone masts being attacked after theories spread online.
And Ofcom is assessing comments made by David Icke about coronavirus.
The media watchdog previously ruled that a local radio station had breached its rules after one of its guests suggested the Covid-19 outbreak was caused by the rollout of 5G mobile technology.
This morning Mr Damazer said the case involving Mr Icke was different to that involving Mr Holmes.
‘It’s rather different because it’s a much smaller audience on London Live, a marginal television channel but nevertheless, tens of thousands of people watched David Icke spout his particular kind on nonsense.
‘Ofcom are looking into that at the moment and we will see what they do’.
Earlier this month a mast in Birmingham caught alight in what was thought to be a 5G conspiracy-related arson attack.
Firefighters were called out to a mast which caught fire in the early hours of Friday, April 10 in Chelmsley Wood, Birmingham
Firefighters were called to tackle a mast which had been torched on Coleshill Road, in Chelmsley Wood on Friday April 10.
West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service tweeted pictures of the 80ft mast which was engulfed in flames as they revealed the attack was being treated as arson.
The Sheldon Fire Station crew tweeted: ‘Mobile phone mast well alight in Chelmsley Wood. Do people really think 5G is the cause of COVID-19?’
Today a further 20 arson attacks were reported across the country on 5G mobile masts.
Incidents were reported across England, Wales and Scotland over the Bank Holiday.
West Yorkshire Police said a phone mast was found ablaze on Tuesday morning. The fire destroyed infrastructure that is currently being used by the emergency services.
Six fire engines attended the blaze.
This is while in Dagenham, Essex, three men were arrested on suspicion of arson this morning after a phone mast was also set on fire there.
Speaking to Sky News today a spokesperson for MobileUK said that theories being spread about the supposed link between the coronavirus and 5G were ‘baseless’.
‘Mobile operators are dedicated to keeping the UK connected, and careless talk could cause untold damage.
‘Continuing attacks on mobile infrastructure risks lives and at this challenging time the UK’s critical sectors must be able to focus all their efforts fighting this pandemic’, they added.
Arsonists attack 20 5G phone masts over four-day Easter weekend
There were a further 20 suspected arson attacks on phone masts over the Easter weekend, fuelled by conspiracy theories linking 5G technology to the spread of coronavirus.
Among those reported was an attack in Dagenham, and another on a mast used by emergency services set alight in Huddersfield.
Two 19-year-old men and an 18-year-old man have been arrested on suspicion of arson in connection to the Dagenham incident.
One of the 20 sites targeted over the weekend provides telecommunication to the Nightingale hospital in Birmingham, according to the chief executive of Vodafone UK Nick Jeffery. ‘Burning down masts means damaging important national infrastructure,’ he said.
‘In practice, this means families not being able to say a final goodbye to their loved ones; hard-working doctors, nurses, and police officers not being able to phone their kids, partners or parents for a comforting chat.’
Mobile UK, the trade body representing all network providers, announced ‘careless talk could cause untold damage’.
The statement follows comments on Monday by This Morning presenter Eamonn Holmes, who said it ‘suited the state narrative’ to dismiss theories linking 5G and coronavirus.
Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom received 419 complaints in relation to Holmes’ comments and is currently investigating the matter as a ‘priority’. Holmes was today forced to apologise over his rant.
Metropolitan Police were called to a telecom mast afire on Becontree Avenue in Dagenham at 1.34am today.
Residential homes nearby were evacuated as a precaution, but people have since been permitted to return to their homes after the fire was put out.
In West Yorkshire, Huddersfield police are investigating a fire at a phone mast attached to a chimney on Lower Quarry Road, which took place in the early hours of today.
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said the blaze destroyed equipment belonging to three mobile network providers, one of which is used by emergency services.
The cause of both fires is yet unknown and it is still not clear if they are 5G masts.
West Midlands Police said it had received eight reports of fires being set at telecommunications infrastructure or being otherwise vandalised since the beginning of April.
Although one incident is still unconfirmed, all eight cases are under investigation.
How does 5G work and what are the weird conspiracies surrounding it?
One theory claims that the coronavirus originated in Wuhan because the city had been rolling out 5G.
It suggests it has been spread to other cities that are also using 5G.
Other theories suggest that the radiation emitted by 5G masts lowers the immune system of people nearby.
One version of this theory suggests the radiation sucks the oxygen out of the atmosphere and disrupts the regular functioning of the human body.
Scientists have described the claims as baseless and a biological ‘impossibility’.
Dr Michael Head, senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton, said: ‘Conspiracy theorists are a public health danger who once read a Facebook page.
‘Here, we also see similar groups of people keen to show their ignorance on a topic where they have no helpful expertise, nor any inclination to post useful public health messages.’
The world health organisation has branded the spread of disinformation about COVID-19 on social media platforms as an ‘infodemic’.
On 5G generally the World Health Organisation said: ”A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk.
‘To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.’
Infrastructure expert Dr Paul Carter, CEO of Global Wireless Solutions says there is a marked difference between fourth and fifth generation mobile.
‘Currently higher radio frequencies are being used by next-generation networks,’ he said.
‘There is generally greater bandwidth available in the higher frequency bands which lead to higher network speeds (which are required for many 5G applications) – but these signals won’t travel as far as lower frequency signals.
‘Therefore, to achieve the promise of ultrafast, super-reliable connectivity, there will be a need for a larger and more densely distributed arrangement of cell sites built in closer proximity to one another.
‘However, current UK deployed frequency bands for 4G range from 800 MHz up to 2,600 MHz – current 5G frequency bands are in the 3,400 MHz range, so although higher, they are not dramatically higher.
‘As part of GWS’ ongoing testing and research, we’ve discovered that consumers have come to consider the performance of 4G as the new minimum technology standard – anything less causes frustration.
‘It’s highly likely that the increased performance offered by 5G will very quickly follow suit as the new normal in the future.’