FOR nearly 30 years their rivalry has rocked the so-called genteel world of breakfast tv.
However BBC execs will quickly be choking on their cornflakes, with Good Morning Britain poised to overhaul the company’s flagship breakfast present for the primary time within the two contenders’ broadcast historical past.
Below Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, Good Morning Britain’s scores are at an all-time excessive with the present’s viewers share doubling – from 14 to twenty-eight% – for the reason that former Solar man joined in 2015.
If the pattern continues – and the pair stay the voice of the pandemic, frequently holding politicians to account – they might quickly overhaul crimson couch rivals, Dan Walker and Louise Minchin.
Final evening Piers stated: “The important thing to our success is that we will not be ignored.
“Whether or not you’re keen on us or hate us, we debate all the problems that folks on this nation are debating amongst themselves.
“The extra severe the information has obtained, it is attention-grabbing that folks have gravitated in direction of us fairly than the BBC which is, traditionally, the place they’d have gone.
“And I believe that is as a result of viewers are getting opinion fairly than simply info – and that is resonating with them.
“Now we have captured the zeitgeist and temper of the nation rather a lot higher than BBC Breakfast.
“I believe it’s extremely seemingly we are going to overtake them within the scores by the tip of the 12 months which shall be a rare achievement.
“You may see that there is actual motion now.
“They are not transferring, and we’re transferring relentlessly upwards.”
Since becoming a member of the journal present six years in the past – following a quick, stand-in stint which noticed him placed on over 30,000 viewers in per week – Piers has helped rework the as soon as ailing programme.
Dubbed the “saviour” of breakfast TV by fellow broadcaster Eamonn Holmes, Piers’s relentless hammering of MPs, light teasing of C-list celebs and heat with the typical visitor, has helped make GMB probably the most Tweeted about present on tv.
Final week, a clip of Well being Secretary Matt Hancock being quizzed by the intrepid duo grew to become probably the most seen clip ever with 20 million hits.
In complete, Good Morning Britain has generated over half a billion impressions, turning into the second most requested programme on the ITV Hub (behind Love Island), and racked-up a billion YouTube views in 2020.
It stays probably the most tweeted about present in TV historical past.
So why are folks tuning in of their droves to take heed to blustering Piers?
This, in a slot extra historically crammed with amiable presenters making small discuss in regards to the climate, pictures of viewers’ pets and non-contentious information tales of the day.
Piers muses: “I believe it is the chemistry Susanna and I’ve – actual yin and yang – and the way in which she holds me accountable for lots of the stuff I say.
“Viewers actually like that as a result of it mirrors all of the debates everybody’s having at residence amongst their mates and households.
“That is been one of many key elements to our success too – that we argue with one another as a lot as we do with individuals who come on the present.”
While Susanna, 50, appears nearly able to throttle Piers at any given second, off-air the pair are good mates, commonly socialising after hours.
Nicely, in non Covid instances.
Referring to the previous BBC presenter as his on-screen “spouse” – probably a lot to the delight of his long-suffering actual one, journalist Celia Walden – their chemistry is simple and, crucially, unforced.
Since its basis in January 1983, BBC Breakfast – initially referred to as Breakfast Time – has remained largely unchallenged in its air-time dominance.
Shortly after, ITV launched its personal model, TV-am, adopted – 10 years later – by GMTV.
The inaugural present was hosted by Eamonn alongside Anne Davies.
After an preliminary fanfare, it misplaced two million viewers inside six weeks and was dubbed “Grinning Morons Tv”.
Six months on, it reported £10mn losses.
A number of (failed) revamps later – with new presenters together with Anthea Turner and Fiona Phillips – the present was ultimately re-branded as “Dawn”.
Alas it quickly grew to become an embarrassing scores flop.
Days after its launch, viewers abandoned the channel’s big-name, big-money, signings Christine Bleakley and Adrian Chiles who, paradoxically, had been poached from the BBC.
After forking out £10mn for the duo – along with a multi-million advert marketing campaign – the much-hyped stars misplaced one in 5 of the anticipated a million viewers after hitting screens.
The programme additionally misplaced 100,000 viewers inside weeks – as folks ditched the programme in favour of BBC Breakfast.
4 years later, ITV bosses tried one last throw of the cube.
With figures all the way down to round 340, 000 – while BBC Breakfast was commonly averaged practically two million viewers – Good Morning Britain was thrust upon the nation.
The next 12 months, the Life Tales star joined Susanna – plus fellow weekday presenters Ben Shephard, Charlotte Hawkins and Kate Garraway – on the helm.
To paraphrase good chum Simon Cowell, Piers has made the job his personal.
Since signing a profitable two 12 months deal in 2019, he’s now the best paid British breakfast presenter of all time.
Or, as an ITV exec explains: “Piers is Piers.
“There may be, actually and figuratively, no-one round like him.
“He has a mixed private social media following of 8.5 million folks, commonly plugs the present throughout these more and more vital channels, and has the form of world attain community execs might, earlier than him, solely dream about.
“Piers understands the media higher than anybody, and is aware of the best way to play the sport.
“He would possibly come throughout as exceedingly combative, however off air he’s additionally throughly respectable and very well-liked.
“Tellingly, he’s additionally the primary to assist a colleague in hassle – and cash can’t purchase that form of loyalty.
“Piers and Susanna have had an unbelievable 12 months, and the present goes from power to power. The BBC are, fairly rightly, involved.”
And when he’s had his fill of telly, Piers might discover himself up towards his standard co-star…
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Earlier this week a poll found that a third of GMB viewers would back a putative move for Piers into politics.
Bookies have now slashed Piers’s odds of coming to power.
Betfair have made him 20/1 to be PM anytime in the next 10 years, and 10/1 to become an MP this year.
Given his ongoing disdain with current Prime Minister Boris Johnson, would PM ever go for PM?
He laughs: “As for politics… listen, if it’s my turn to serve, and the people want me… who am I to ignore the will of the people?”
He just needs to smash BBC Breakfast first….