Paddy McGuinness has told of his anger after a stranger questioned why he had parked in a blue badge space when he and his children “don’t look disabled”.
The TV star, whose six-year-old twins Leo and Penelope have autism, said he was dropping his children off at a play centre when the man approached.
Posting on Twitter, he said while he wanted to “bounce him off every car”, he instead took a deep breath.
McGuinness said: “Just had a deep breathe 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 bell end to come over and tell us that we don’t look disabled? #ignorance.
“I took a deep breathe and sent my children in. Luckily they didn’t understand what was going on?
“Once they’d happily gone in I approached this ignorant tool. All I wanted to do was bounce him off every car but there would only be one loser in that, me!”
The presenter said he “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?” he said.
He went on: “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.”
McGuinness said a few years back it would’ve been “a different outcome”.
He said: “He’d be on his arse and putting a call in to the tabloids.
“I would’ve been vilified and labelled a thug. My wife and children would’ve been upset and I’d more than likely be out of a job.”
The star, who has three children with his wife Christine, went on: “I’m so glad I took that deep breathe and handled the situation calmly.
“I feel better for it and hopefully that ignorant person might think twice next time or indeed learn that all disabilities are different.”
He urged others: “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. #ignorance #autismawareness #hypermobility.”