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.
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, over 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.
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.