GMB hit by 9,000 Ofcom complaints during lockdown after Piers Morgan backlash

Good Morning Britain presenters Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid are known for their combative interview styles, drawing in viewers with their explosive debates with a number of different guests.

Piers sparked backlash earlier this year after his interviews with government ministers such as MP Helen Whately and Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

His fiery interview with Whateley sparked 3,000 Ofcom complaints alone, while Hancock's slot managed to get 600.

Taking that into account, it is no surprise that GMB got the most Ofcom complaints during lockdown, receiving a whopping 9,019 between March and August.

According to Buzz Bingo, GMB accounted for 40% of all television show complaints during lockdown, with 2,000 alone complaining on April 15th after Piers sparked a bullying row following his interview with Whateley.

In comparison, Sky News came second with just 1,522, and This Morning came third with 1,373.

Piers Morgan's rivals on BBC News also got a 870 complaints, despite the BBC handling their own complaints themselves.

However, despite fury from viewers, Ofcom cleared the show of any complaints after conducting an investigation into the offending interviews.

An Ofcom spokesperson said: "We assessed a number of complaints about Piers Morgan‘s conduct while interviewing politicians about the UK’s response to the coronavirus public health crisis.

"Piers Morgan is well-known for his combative interviewing style and viewers would expect him to challenge senior politicians and hold them to account.

"His guests were given adequate opportunity to put their points across and counter the presenter’s criticisms.

"In Ofcom’s view, in line with freedom of expression, it is clearly in the public interest that broadcasters are able to hold those making political decisions to account, particularly during a major national crisis, such as the coronavirus pandemic."

Responding to the news, Piers posted on Instagram: "Thank you to everyone that supported me."

However, the watchdog also warned that the combative style of Piers' interviews could prove to be risky in its compliance with the Broadcasting Code.

Piers sparked fury on GMB with his interview with Whately, as some viewers accused him of "bullying" the MP on air, whilst others insisted he was simply holding the MP to account.

He later took to social media to slam the "bullying" claims from viewers, writing: "It's not 'bullying' or 'hounding' or 'unfair' to push a Care minister hard on how many care home residents & workers have died from COVID-19.

"It's called 'holding Govt to account'. The Govt is grossly understating the real number, I suspect for political reasons.

GMB continues on Monday at 6am on ITV.

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