Coronavirus: Piers Morgan criticises Lewis Capaldi and Stereophonics for playing gigs amid pandemic

Tom Butler
Senior Editor

Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan has appealed for the entertainment industry and the general public to practice social distancing in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.

“What the hell are you doing going to pop concerts?” Morgan said on GMB on Monday.

“Taking part in half-marathons? The rest of the world is in virtual, total lockdown, and we’re doing this. It’s total nonsense.”

“We’re in a war,” the presenter said. “No-one can tell me that with the rest of the world locking down and social-distancing to the extent that you can’t go to bars, restaurants, clubs, gyms, whatever, that thousands of people congregating at an event like this...”

Good Morning Britain presenters Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid. (ITV/Nicky Johnson)

Prime minister Boris Johnson is expected to discuss the banning of mass gatherings at a meeting on Monday.

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Morgan’s comments came during a segment about the spread of Covid-19, in which the ITV breakfast programme shared clips from a packed Stereophonics gig in Cardiff over the weekend, where thousands are shown joining in a singalong with the band.

The Welsh rockers played the Motorpoint Arena on Saturday, a venue that can hold up to 7,500 people.

Morgan also cited Scottish singer Lewis Capaldi, 23, who ended his UK arena tour on Sunday by performing at Aberdeen's 11,000 capacity P&J Live events space. While the Scottish government has not banned mass gatherings, it has urged event organisers to cancel them from Monday, to support efforts dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.

Lewis Capaldi performs at The SSE Arena, Wembley on March 12, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Matthew Baker/Getty Images)

A spokesman for Capaldi said: "The final show of Lewis's UK arena tour in Aberdeen on Sunday 15 March went ahead in full compliance with the advisory document on mass gatherings issued by the Scottish government at 1pm on the same day.

"The document states that the advice applies from Monday 16 March and is 'not expected to have a significant impact on the spread of Covid-19, and this is not its purpose', but that it aims 'to relieve pressure on public services, including emergency services'.

Kelly Jones of Stereophonics performs at Motorpoint Arena on March 15, 2020 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Mike Lewis Photography/WireImage)

"Security, first aid, medical and welfare teams were paid for by the organisers as normal and the venue had additional signage in place to highlight best practice on hygiene during the event.

"We'd like to thank everyone who came along to Aberdeen and the other tour dates for welcoming Lewis so warmly."

The Scottish government published updated guidance about mass gatherings on Sunday.

It asks that from Monday large events, indoors or outdoors, are cancelled or postponed, and calls on organisers "to act responsibly to support the efforts of emergency services and the wider public sector" in the response to the increasing number of Covid-19 cases.