‘Sorry, that was mean’: The Speakmans take harsh approach to Northumberland man’s flying fear on This Morning

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James from Northumberland didn’t get the most sympathetic response when he called into This Morning

A Northumberland man was given a harsh talking to by Nik and Eva Speakman when he called into This Morning on Monday.

The ITV show was running its regular segment where phobia specialists The Speakmans fielded calls from viewers who shared their issues.

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The couple famously cured a caller's strange fear of custard earlier this year in an episode that ended with the woman taking a bath in the substance live on television.

On Monday, May 23 callers weren't having problems with pudding toppings, but one man from Northumberland did need help with a fear of flying.

North East local James explained that he could no longer get on flights after a harrowing experience.

He said: "There was an A380 airbus taking off before us and we went to take off on the 747 and they hadn't left enough time between the take-offs, so we got caught in the wake of the aircraft and it threw the aircraft over. Not totally over, but quite a distance.

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"It was terrifying, the whole crew thought they were going to die and every time I've got on an aircraft since that, any turbulence or anything, I was a bag of nerves and had to leave.

"It's a huge problem in my life. I love flying and it's taken the world away from me."

The Speakmans talked to James from Northumberland (Image: ITV)The Speakmans talked to James from Northumberland (Image: ITV)
The Speakmans talked to James from Northumberland (Image: ITV)

James went on to say that he had tried flying again recently, but had to run off the plane when his fear kicked in.

The Speakmans listened patiently alongside This Morning hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield.

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After trying to talk James through the fear logically, the Northumberland man kept trying to explain why he couldn't get over it.

It prompted a stern Eva Speakman to say: "James, can I be a little bit stern with you.

"You're trying to tell us why you should keep this [phobia], I want you to let this go.

"I know you've had 25 years of amazing adventures on an aircraft and I wouldn't want this experience to give you an inaccurate perspective of planes.

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"Knowing that you faced the worst-case scenario and still nothing happened, what right have you got to give an aeroplane a hard time that has never let you down?

"Stop telling me why you should keep it."

James eventually took the advice on board as Eva also used an analogy of a baby walking as to why his fear shouldn't be so crippling.

Nik added: "One thing you said was that we all thought we were going to die.

"In that moment of absolute fear when you think you're going to die your brain, in an attempt to protect you, goes, if I don't die, I never want to be in this situation again.

"Obviously, it's now protecting you from planes.

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"I'd like you to turn it on its head and consider, this happened because it was a new plane and a new experience. And even in the wake of that, you were okay."

Holly and Phil reassured the specialists that they weren’t too harsh (Image: ITV)Holly and Phil reassured the specialists that they weren’t too harsh (Image: ITV)
Holly and Phil reassured the specialists that they weren’t too harsh (Image: ITV)

After the call ended, a bashful Eva said to Holly and Phil: "Sorry, that was mean..."

Holly replied: "No no I don't think so! All for the right reasons."

The Speakmans' method for James didn't convince viewers on social media.

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One wrote: "'Just let your fear of flying go mate, it’s that easy'.

"I’m sure he’s tried that before..."

Another shared: "Learning to walk is instinctual. Flying is not. Of course we persevere as toddlers."

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