A RECENT clickbait headline ‘Fans fume over missing ITV show’ enticed me to check which programme, because of its non-appearance, had apparently caused a commotion. The answer, amazingly, was Good Morning Britain, which vexed its viewers by failing to appear as had been scheduled between Christmas and New Year.
For the holiday period, to ‘protect our teams’ from the spread of coronavirus, management summarily suspended the show. Omicron, thank you!
The postponed programme’s distraught devotees were unlikely to have included the audience for TCW Defending Freedom: given the choice of spending breakfast time watching GMB or scrubbing congealed porridge, our discerning readers would presumably reach for the Marigolds.
Much of this antipathy towards GMB might be due to the prejudices of Piers Morgan. Before flouncing off the set last March, the former host spent his final year in the chair lusting for lockdowns and insulting anyone who disagreed. Yet partisan Piers possessed the gravitas and neutrality of Richard Dimbleby compared with current part-time presenter Adil Ray.
The actor and gameshow host – anyone who saw his BBC sitcom Citizen Khan will hesitate to label Adil Ray a comedian – was on presenting duty when on December 21 the programme posed the question: Has Boris lost control?
The unenviable task of defending this chaotic and counterfeit Conservative government fell to Alex Deane, formerly chief of staff to an obscure shadow education secretary named David Cameron and now an omnipresent political pundit on all channels. Always identifying silver linings in political storm clouds, Alex’s Panglossian perspectives are sometimes too Pollyannaish; nonetheless, he is an affable and articulate advocate for conservatism whose opinions during his media appearances are generally worthy of attention.
On GMB a few days before Christmas, Deane determinedly defended there being no new restrictions in England: ‘Sometimes not doing something is the right thing to do, especially when the something would be bad . . . Lockdowns now would be the politically easy thing to do, but it would be the wrong thing to do, therefore I support and applaud the Government.’
On this occasion, however, Alex’s amiability was severely tested by co-host Adil Ray and guest Nina Myskow. Both seem to believe that trumpeting bereavements confers moral superiority – a conceit with which they attempted to discredit Alex Deane.
Deane had alluded to GMB being ‘complicit’ in what he labelled ‘a co-ordinated attack by those who don’t like the Prime Minister’. Instead of objectively arguing the facts, Ray responded by ramping up his self-righteousness: ‘I’m talking on behalf of people like myself who lost people during this pandemic – over 140,000 – I lost three relatives, so don’t say to me I’m trying to be political . . . this isn’t just about politics, please think about those people too, Alex.’
On Channel 5’s Jeremy Vine Show, Nina Myskow has been a persistent proponent of restrictions in pursuit of ‘zero deaths’ from Covid.
Bringing the same insane standpoint to GMB, and preposterously purporting to speak on behalf of ‘real people’, Myskow loftily declared that Adil Ray was ‘allowed to make it personal’ and Deane had ‘no right to disrespect him by saying he shouldn’t mention it’. Her delusional diatribe included the astoundingly accusatorial question: ‘Alex, have you lost anybody?’
Say what you will about GMB’s former adversarial anchorman: Piers Morgan at least fought his own battles and would have had too much self-regard to permit a grandstanding guest to bluster on his behalf. By contrast, Adil Ray contemptibly allowed noxious Nina to be his attack dog, for which he ignominiously thanked her: ‘I appreciate that but let’s hear what Alex has to say.’
Clearly bemused by the despicable duo’s ‘extraordinary approach’, which he disgustedly described as ‘unless you’ve got a body to show you have no place in this debate’, Alex Deane admirably retained his composure and deftly pricked their pomposity. Reluctantly revealing – ‘if you must know’ – that his father died during 2021 and ‘didn’t get to see his mates for the last year of his life’, Alex smartly made mincemeat of maniacal Myskow: ‘I think the way you are behaving right now, abusing people and demanding they rend their garments and show their wounds, that they only have a position in this debate if they have lost someone, is appalling.’
Even then, she still harrumphed that Deane ‘should have more empathy’. By the end of the segment Adil Ray did sound a little chastened, though it remains to be seen whether he has learnt his lesson and will in future spare viewers his insufferable sanctimony.
As ambushed Alex Deane adroitly argued: ‘Sometimes not doing something is the right thing to do.’ In light of this detestable ‘debate’, when Good Morning Britain returns today from its extended break, not watching is definitely the right thing to do.