Watch: Richard Madeley clashes with Mick Lynch over rail strikes
The Good Morning Britain host accused Lynch of deliberately targeting the festive period by staging strikes in December and the pair increasingly talked over one another and Madeley shouting and snapping.
The 66-year-old TV presenter asked the union boss: "Why couldn’t you have put all these strikes in January? Why do you have to target people at Christmas? You’ll be putting people out of business who run hotels, who run restaurants, who run bars, and retail.”
Lynch responded: “Well, we’re not targeting Christmas. It isn’t Christmas yet, Richard. I don’t know when your Christmas starts, but mine starts on Christmas Eve.”
Madeley interrupted: "That's disingenuous. Commercial Christmas starts in December, you know perfectly well."
The GMB host became increasingly fired up as he continued: "Don't be ridiculous, you are depriving them [the hospitality and retail industry] of their income. I won't let you get away with nonsense."
Lynch retorted: “You’re just ranting now. You’re just talking to yourself, now, Richard. Why don’t you just interview yourself?”
Madeley snapped: "Cheap point Mr Lynch, I'm holding you to account on behalf of the viewers. I'm not interested in the sound of my own voice, I'd like to hear yours answering the question.
"Why do you have to target Christmas. You won't answer the question and until you do, I'll keep interrupting. Its my job. ON you go, jog on."
Kate Garraway then interjected: "Okay you've been told Mr Lynch, we'll let you speak."
Lynch went on to say the strike action from the evening of Christmas Eve to 27 December is taking place during a time when the railway is closed annually to enable engineering work to take place.
He insisted: "That does not impact on Christmas as the railway is closed down."
RMT union members are staging strikes across the UK rail network on Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 December and Friday 16 and Saturday 17 December, as well as the strike beginning on Christmas Eve. More strikes will take place on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 January, along with Friday 6 and Saturday 7 January.
It is not the first time Madeley has clashed with the rail union boss on air.
In June they came to blows when the TV presenter accused Lynch of being a Marxist and the union chief told him he was talking nonsense.
Madeley, 66, opened the interview by saying: "You’ve been accused severely over the past few weeks of being a Marxist.
"It happened again last night, a backbench Tory MP said you are a 'Marxist with no interest other than trying to tear down the Government.'"
Lynch replied: "Richard, you do come up with the most remarkable twaddle sometimes, I've got to say - opening an interview with that is nonsense."
Madeley hit back: "Woah, woah, I didn't say you are a Marxist, I'm saying that you are being accused of being a Marxist and that's called reporting!"