Entertainment & Arts

Susanna Reid in 'constant battle' with Piers Morgan

Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid Image copyright ITV
Image caption Morgan and Reid have been co-presenting on ITV since 2015

Good Morning Britain presenter Susanna Reid has revealed she feels she wages "a constant battle for airtime" with her outspoken co-host Piers Morgan.

"Sometimes I open my mouth to ask a question and hear Piers's voice come out," she told the Radio Times.

"You can't help but go into battle with him every morning," continued Reid, who quit the BBC for ITV in 2014.

Morgan and Reid have proved a winning partnership for ITV, but its morning show still trails behind BBC Breakfast.

BBC One's breakfast programme has an average daily audience of 1.5 million, around twice the audience who tune into its commercial rival.

Image caption Reid previously presented BBC Breakfast alongside Bill Turnbull and others

Former tabloid editor Morgan joined Good Morning Britain in 2015 with the stated aim of making the show "unpredictable, provocative [and] lively".

"I just took a view that the way to make us truly competitive was to shake things up a bit," he told the BBC last year.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Reid admitted that her first reaction to his hiring was "Arghhh!" and that sharing the sofa with him was akin to "sitting next to a hedgehog".

Reid said she struggled with their relationship up until last year, and admits to frequently coming off air in tears.

What brought things to a head were the Women's Marches of 2017, of which Morgan was highly critical.

She says what upset her most were the attacks she received from men who accused her of "enabling his anti-feminist views".

"The man sitting next to me was spouting off whatever he believes, which I don't agree with... but I had men telling me it was my fault he was saying this. And I was just like, I've had enough of men telling me how I should be a feminist. I've had enough of it."

Reid told the magazine it was then that she realised it wasn't her responsibility to "pick up the pieces" after Morgan provoked controversy.

Image caption Reid made it to the final of Strictly Come Dancing in 2013

She also claims she is "very happy" with her current salary and that she does not know how it compares with her co-host's, said to be around £1.1 million a year.

Reid previously presented BBC Breakfast and was a runner-up on Strictly Come Dancing in 2013.

Speaking about comparisons between Good Morning Britain and BBC Breakfast, she said: "I'm quite nervous about conflict, I don't like it.

"[Morgan] loves it, he relishes it. He's actually very good friends with [BBC Breakfast presenter] Dan Walker, which I think a lot of people don't realise - because you see, for Piers, conflict is never personal."

She added: "I'm not looking at beating the BBC. There are people who want its presenting style in the morning.

"There's something very reassuring, and very likeable about it. No-one's ever going to be offended by Dan and Louise [Minchin]. I know them personally, and they're blinking lovely. You couldn't describe Piers as lovable.

"And I don't think everybody necessarily wants a double espresso shot into their veins in the morning. Some people want a nice cup of tea. And there is absolutely a role for both."

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