Paddy McGuinness slams ‘ignorant’ stranger who said his autistic kids 'don't look disabled' in furious car park row

4 November 2019, 09:29 | Updated: 4 November 2019, 15:22

Paddy McGuiness has hit out at a stranger
Paddy McGuiness has hit out at a stranger. Picture: ITV/Instagram
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Paddy McGuinness has hit out at a stranger who said that his autistic twins "didn't look disabled".

Take Me Out host Paddy McGuinness and his wife Christine, 31, share six-year-old twins Leo and Penelope, who have autism, as well as younger daughter Felicity, four.

The 46-year-old was dropping his kids off at a play centre where he’d pulled into a disabled parking bay with ‘all the relevant badges on display’.  

But at that point, a total stranger, who was parked in another disabled bay, then decided to approach his family and insist his autistic children "didn't look disabled".

Paddy took to Twitter to tell his followers about the incident as he wrote: "Just had a 'deep breath and walk away' moment. Dropped my little ones off at a play centre.

"Parked in a disability space while they got out. Had all our relevant disability badges on display only for some b****** to come over and tell us that we don't look disabled?

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"I took a deep breath and sent my children in. Luckily, they didn't understand what was going on.

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The presenter then revealed he approached the “ignorant tool” when his kids had gone inside. 

"All I wanted to do was bounce him off every car but there would only be one loser in that, me!,” he continued. 

"Instead I tried to explain to him that not all disabilities are the same? The ignorance and sheer pomposity of telling someone they don't look disabled really makes my blood boil! How does someone have to look to have a disability? #ignorance.

"This sad individual was also parked in a disability bay? He was able bodied but it would never cross my mind to ask him what his disability was as he could clearly walk? Unless you get a blue badge for being an ignorant p****? He was clearly qualified!"

He finally added: "If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, stay calm, take the deep breathe and educate the ignorant. You’ll feel better and you’ll still have a job to pay your mortgage and look after your family."

And fans were quick to comment with their own experiences, as one person replied:  "Love this tweet! As someone who has an invisible disability I have has to deal with some really ignorant people along the way! It says more about them as individuals than us!"

Another agreed: “You should never have to explain to anyone why you are parked in that space- it's nobody else's business but yours, totally disgusting behaviour from that individual - hope they think about their actions in future."

While a third added: "Well done Paddy. Perhaps you made him understand and question his assumptions, here's hoping. Well done for not giving him a thick ear."

Paddy and Christine regularly open out about their children's autism, with Christine also blasting the stranger for criticising her family.

Appearing on BBC Breakfast on Monday morning, the mum of three said she isn't 'proud' of having a blue disabled badge, but it has been vital in allowing her to leave the house with her autistic twins.

"The autism really affects their anxiety, they also have no sense of danger, they have no road safety awareness and would think nothing of stepping out in front of a car," she said.

"Being able to park near the door lets me go out of the door with my children. I don't want to use this space, I'm not proud of having a blue badge but I have it because my children need it for their safety."