The Daily Mail was toasting a broadcasting success story this morning, as it told readers “Susanna and Piers are eating up their rivals in the battle for breakfast TV: Presenting duo credited with helping Good Morning Britain soar past one million viewers”. And Clemmie Moodie’s article reserved its greatest praise for just one of that pairing.
GMB first hits the screens, 2014
“She was one half of BBC breakfast television’s so-called ‘winning formula’ - a partnership which helped the corporation pull-in over two million viewers daily … Now, on the three year anniversary of Good Morning Britain, Susanna Reid’s rival on-screen pairing with Piers Morgan has left Beeb executives fuming as the duo eat in to Breakfast viewing figures”. And there is some BBC bashing, too. Do go on.
“Television execs are attributing GMB’s resurgence to the chemistry between the ex-Britain’s Got Talent judge and his rather more glamorous co-host - as well as Miss Reid’s array of colourful outfits which regularly go on to sell out in shops”. Yes, she’s a 46-year-old mother of three, but in Daily Mail world she is still a “Miss”.
At this point, Zelo Street regulars may have experienced a hypocrisy overload moment. After all, even before GMB launched in 2014, the Mail had targeted Ms Reid for a welter of adverse comment, telling readers that her rumoured pay packet, which ranged between £400k and £1 million, depending on the creativity of Mail hacks, would turn readers off.
The Mail's changed its mind about Susanna Reid
A list of those who had moved from BBC to ITV and failed was dug out, going all the way back to Simon Dee (Who? Ask an older relative). Ridiculous stories about the length of Ms Reid’s outfits were invented, as was a rivalry with co-host Charlotte Hawkins. ITV bosses were rumoured to be unhappy with the show (bit of a bad guess) and readers were told that there would be “tinkering with the format” (ditto).
The Mail’s determined efforts to pull Ms Reid down a peg or two - working women, in the world of the Northcliffe House bunker, can never “have it all” - sucked in the Murdoch Sun, which agreed that GMB was heading for the rocks. The Sun’s “source”, repeated in the Mail, told solemnly that “No-one is expecting to beat the BBC and no-one is expecting to get over a million viewers … But we do want it to get above 15 percent - or it is toast”.
Well, even then, away from Bank Holiday Mondays, GMB was indeed managing 15% of the total viewing audience, as an industry contact confirmed to Zelo Street. And now, as the Mail has confirmed, the assertion “no-one is expecting to get over a million viewers” is also shown to be the proverbial crock of crap.
One-nil against the Arsenal
The obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre invested so much capital into telling their readers that Good Morning Britain was another ITV breakfast turkey. They ignored the presence of a very determined team of hosts, backed to the hilt by ITV’s Director of Television Peter Fincham, and kept right on just slagging it off.
Now the Mail is fawning and simpering over GMB, partly because they were wrong, and partly because it enables them to sneer at the BBC over moving their breakfast offering to Salford Quays. What a bunch of rank, ocean-going, Grade A hypocrites.