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Lord Grade joined Ben and Ranvir on GMB via video link to discuss a wide range of topics, including the dangers of online gambling and the latest news on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. However, when Ben and Ranvir quizzed Lord Grade, who worked as executive chairman of ITV between 2007 and 2009, about his thoughts on the UK Government refusing to come on the show, they had rather differing opinions.
Lord Grade, who is also a member of the Conservative Party, was put under the spotlight by Ben and Ranvir.
Both GMB presenters feel the government should be appearing on their show, citing that it “owes it” to ITV viewers to face questions.
However, Lord Grade had a differing opinion as he said: “The government makes its choices, the broader question is: is the government doing everything it can to communicate with the British public in whichever means it chooses to do that?
“If it chooses not to appear on your programme, I’m sorry for you -“
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Ben quickly interrupted his guest and weighed in: “It’s not us that you need to feel sorry for, it’s out viewers.”
However Lord Grade wasn’t to be deterred as he hit back: “Your viewers, I’m delighted to hear the high numbers, I wish the numbers were as high as that when I was at ITV [laughs],
“Your viewers have access not just to – you’re not the only source of information and news to those viewers.”
When Ranvir and Ben continued to quiz their guest on the government’s stance, Lord Grade branded it “arrogant” for the show to expect a government minister to appear no matter, as Ranvir put it, “how hard the questions might be”.
Ranvir posed to Lord Grade: “Is it an insult to the nine million viewers who across the week tune into this programme to not have a minister on?”
Lord Grade responded: “No, I think that’s a rather, if I may say so given, accepting your hospitality this morning, I think that’s a rather arrogant position.
“No journalist has the right to expect the appearance of any minister on their programme or to be interviewed by them.”
He added: “That’s not the way it works.”
Viewers were quick to voice their opinions on the debate, with many praising Lord Grade for opposing Ben and Ranvir’s view.
One said on Twitter: “Fair play, GMB was just told to grow up I just wish Piers was there to hear it. About time someone spoke up for the government.”
A second weighed in: “Well that told them didn’t it! Good answer they’re not obliged to go on now shut up about it for goodness sake it’s boring now.”
While a third added: “A hilarious interview where @ranvir01 @benshephard tried to get Lord Grade to criticise the government for their boycott of @gmb and he just wasn’t biting.”
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And a fourth agreed: “Well said. Piers won’t be happy!”
A fifth also pointed the blame at Piers: “Shame he didn’t say it was all down to @piersmorgan fault beings so bullish n rude when interviewing them.” (sic)
This marks almost 10 weeks since the government has refused to be interviewed on the ITV show following a series of furious rows with Piers earlier in the year.
The GMB host has been more than vocal with his criticism of the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, both on-screen and via social media.
Good Morning Britain continues every weekday at 6am on ITV.
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