Ed Balls admits nerves as he makes 'GMB' hosting debut and struggles with autocue
Ed Balls has admitted he felt nervous as he made his presenting debut on Good Morning Britain.
The former politician joined Susanna Reid as co-host of the ITV breakfast show for the first time on Monday morning and quickly drew attention from some viewers for his abilities reading the autocue.
Balls said: "Morning Britain it's just gone half past six welcome to the programme, my first programme."
Welcome guest presenter @edballs!
It's a daunting seat but luckily you have @susannareid100 to guide you though!
Watch GMB now 👉 https://t.co/6iQ6ebeOEQ pic.twitter.com/s6PbCpFzBk
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) November 15, 2021
Reid told him: "Welcome to the programme Ed Balls, how do you feel?"
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Balls, 54, said: "Thank goodness you're here, it's so good to have somebody who knows what they are doing.
He added: "I've never done this before so it's exciting, bit daunting."
Some viewers felt Balls appeared uncomfortable at the helm of the TV show.
One tweeted: "What are you doing @GMB ?! I'm watching through my fingers, Ed's really making a Balls up of reading the Autocue! Is he on work experience or something?"
Another commented: "@edballs on GMB is making this Monday morning a million times worse! So painful and awkward to watch.. Taxi for Ed please!!"
But others were impressed with Balls' interviewing skills, as he questioned Tory party chairman Oliver Dowden over prime minister Boris Johnson's handling of the recent Tory sleaze allegations.
Nicky Cox, editor of children's newspaper First News, tweeted: "Great to see @edballs presenting @GMB. Knowledgeable, entertaining and anti partisan despite having been in a Labour Party government."
Balls spoked to the parents of murdered South African model Reeva Steenkamp, after it was revealed that Oscar Pistorius, who killed their daughter, could meet them as part of conditions for his parole.
He asked them, "Do you want to tell him the impact it’s had on your life?”
Steenkamp's father Barry said: “One day I would like to talk to Oscar, man to man. I’d like to talk to him. June and myself we feel there are still a lot of things to come out of this story and we’re hoping that Oscar will tell us the truth."
Balls - who lost his seat as a Labour MP in 2015 and took part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2016 – previously attracted criticism of his autocue skills back in 2017 when he guest hosted political panel show Have I Got News For You.
The former MP for Morley and Outwood is also known for going viral back in 2011 when he accidentally posted his name online as he tried to search for what people were saying about him, and the anniversary is still jokingly celebrated as 'Ed Balls Day'.
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Balls joined Reid as GMB's co-host after Richard Madeley announced he would be absent from the show until after Christmas, as he is due to take part in I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!
Robert Rinder guest hosted the breakfast show last week.
Watch: Ed Balls won Celebrity Best Home Cook earlier this year