ITV’s new breakfast offering Good Morning Britain made its debut this morning, and, given the timescales of newspaper production and one or two shows to make a considered judgment, I’d pencilled in midweek for casting an eye over the reactions. But that was to reckon without Martin Clarke’s leering drones at Mail Online, who have reacted exactly as I predicted on Saturday.
New set offends Mail Online no shock horror
Hostile reviews, I concluded, were a “racing certainty”, and Mail Online was in there like a shot. Viewers had complained! Do go on: “many argued that the new format was more American in style - similar to Stateside shows such as Good Morning America”. How many complaints would that be? Er, two. And GMA, to use the Stateside vernacular, is the #1Breakfast show across the USA right now.
But the main whinge from Clarke’s complainers was about Susanna Reid (as if that was ever in any doubt): “viewers were quick to point out that the presenter's best assets were not being utilised by the show's bosses”. What can they mean? No, hang on, let me guess ... Susanna Reid’s best assets ... no, don’t give me a clue, I’ll figure this one out ... yes, I’ve got it.
It's too much like Good Morning America, where they all sit behind a desk ... oh, hang on a minute
Here we go: one, sharp intellect, two, good experience in journalism, and three, smart with easy presentational and interviewing manner. How did I do? Sadly, in the world of Mail Online, that would have gained nul points. Not a sausage. Zilch. Zero. Nil. Nada. Because what they are talking about is the word that begins with P and ends with an exclamation mark. Yes, we’re talking Phworrhh!
“Shortly after the programme premiered at 6am, Twitter was awash with comments from critics who complained that Susanna's trim legs were being hidden because she spent the majority of the time sitting behind a desk with her co-hosts”. Ho yus. And how many critics would that be? A thousand? 250, perchance? Maybe fifty? Well, no: four Tweets were displayed and three more quoted.
And, as to the provenance of at least one of the Twitter accounts quoted, the least said the better. But then the Mail Online mood lightened: “Later on the show, however, Susanna moved from behind the desk, giving viewers the chance to catch a glimpse of her enviable pins”. Well, there’s earth-shattering for you. Yes, ITV have also invested in the obligatory sofa. And there is a chair, too!
Plus there is, folks, a conclusion: that Sarah Bull was the right name to put on Mail Online’s by-line. Because bull is exactly what has been written. The hatchet job demanded has turned out to be amateurish and leering. And if ITV can match GMA, which is fronted, don’t forget, by political heavyweight George Stephanopoulos and the truly inspirational Robin Roberts, they will have done Very Well Indeed.
And will there be more hatchet jobs from the Mail’s pundits? There certainly will.