By Jonathan Reed
Video supplied by Good Morning Britain/ITV©
Breakfast TV has changed a lot throughout the years and with an ever-changing society the fight to be at the top grows fiercer. The main event, the match to beat all matches rests between two morning heavyweights, BBC Breakfast and Good Morning Britain. So, which is the best? Well, allow me to give my verdict.
The morning slot on TV around the world, let alone in Britain is deeply coveted. After all, this is the time when most will tune in to get their early fix of any breaking news. With BBC Breakfast and Good Morning Britain they both excellently do this, which considering it’s the BBC and ITV, shouldn’t be a surprise.
Yet it is the delivery of this news and the subsequent analysis that provide staunch differences and it is through this that to me a clear favourite emerges.
BBC breakfast, professional and at the forefront of breaking world and national news, for a while dominated the morning viewing figures and with the only rival being the – do not speak of it – Daybreak it was the superior choice. However, whilst still being popular with viewers across the country, it has faced a new rival, Good Morning Britain.
Suddenly the BBC’s dominance is no longer. Instead, its ITV rival consistently nips at its heels, if not biting them off completely. Since as recently as June 2018, BBC Breakfast has dropped from 1.63 million viewers to 1.5 million. Admittedly, it is still a lot of viewers and not a figure to turn your nose up at, but when you consider Good Morning Britain has risen from 578,000 viewers in 2016, to an astonishing 820,000 this year, you can’t help but think that the ITV show is most certainly heading the right way.
So why is it? Why are viewers moving over to the ‘other side’ on ITV? In reflection, the answer is easy.
Viewers want to be entertained, they want controversy and they want what a news program should bring when delivering the news, debate.
In an age where a differing of opinion is almost a battle cry to war, viewers want to see a war. And when you look at the front line of both show’s infantry, it is hard not to see the superior one. BBC’s Dan Walker is a brilliant anchor, funny, concise and entertaining as well. So are Louise Minchin and Charlie Stayt. They are the archetypal BBC presenters, and to many viewers it is for that reason they tune in. Good Morning Britain, however have a new type of soldier to send to the front line of news. These are different, hybrids. They don’t just deliver the news, in some cases they are it. Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid always seem prepared and ready for anything, even each other.
The chemistry is through the roof, their bickering makes the show. From Piers joking about Susanna’s outfits to the brilliant one line put downs she fires back. It is a refreshing take seeing two people who on many issues have differing of opinions, will fight for their opinions and yet still defend each other from unnecessary attack.
The balance of which both Reid and Morgan bring to morning TV is unrivalled. You can always count on Piers firing off the hard-hitting questions and Susanna diplomatically striking any pointless answers. There is no better example of this than the subject of Gun violence in America.
When both Piers and Susanna, after the devastating Las Vegas shooting interviewed Dan Roberts, a stringent pro-gun campaigner, Piers went in with the fury of a British Bulldog and rightly so. His constant hole punching in the excuses of Roberts was delightful to watch. Yet what was more delightful to watch was Susanna. Like the expert she is she held back allowing her co-anchor to strike blow after blow. It is this instinctual action that sets Good Morning Britain apart.
There is no competing for the limelight, even if they joke there is. Both know each other’s technique to a point. Again, this instinct was shown when both reported the horrendous attack in Manchester and the harrowing phone call from Charlotte Campbell begging to know if her daughter Olivia was safe. Reid pleaded for anyone watching to help, struggling to finish her sentence as anyone in her position would have done. Morgan continued it for her allowing Susanna to compose herself.
It is these moments that make, not only Good Morning Britain, but morning television as a whole. Every day through Piers and Susanna, ITV invite us into the thick of daily news and debate. They allow the viewers to feel as if they’re in the studio, as if by shouting at the screen, the guest they’re interviewing can hear us. It is that inclusivity that set Good Morning Britain apart. They spark debate and push the boundaries igniting arguments that, to a viewer, are brilliant to watch.
The hilarity of watching Susanna, frustratingly trying to explain gender neutrality to Piers, who until genderless pigs can fly will never understand it, is TV gold.
The greatest success of Good Morning Britain? For me it is the shows foundation. The pillars of the show aren’t built on political correctness. Respect yes, but in an age when we debate whether a monkey who takes a selfie with a man’s camera should belong to the human or the animal, it is a joy to see this.
So, as I’m sure the debate over which show, BBC Breakfast or Good Morning Britain, rattles on and the never-ending twitter back and forth of Piers and Dan continues, for me there is only one winner. So, as I make my morning coffee and wipe away the sleet from my eyes, at 6.00am, on the dot, I’ll be there tuning into Good Morning Britain, shouting, laughing and all-round readying myself for the morning ahead.