'Good Morning Britain' drops social distancing between Richard Madeley and Susanna Reid

Good Morning Britain, Richard Madeley and Susannah Reid suspend social distancing (ITV)
Good Morning Britain's Richard Madeley and Susanna Reid have suspended social distancing. (ITV)

Good Morning Britain welcomed viewers this week to a slightly different arrangement, with presenters Richard Madeley and Susanna Reid side by side onscreen.

However, it was no camera trickery – the show's hosts were actually sat close together for the first time since the pandemic began.

In early 2020, the ITV breakfast programme had the studio desk lengthened to allow the hosts and guests to sit two metres apart.

To allow the presenters to appear on viewers' screens at the same time, two different camera views were broadcast simultaneously, leaving a virtual screen to separate them in which the presenters sometimes disappeared into if they moved too much.

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Today's show marked the return to the old arrangement, and Madeley did not miss the chance to showcase it to viewers, playfully moving his arms towards Reid and saying: "Look my arms are not disappearing into cyberspace!"

Good Morning Britain' TV Show, London, UK - 10 May 2021
The GMB presenters have moved closer together compared with their original pandemic setup. (ITV/Shutterstock)

"We are actually, literally sitting next to each other again, for the first time in two years?" he said.

"It's very... It's actually quite discombobulating," continued Reid, with Madeley agreeing and joking they should go back to the way they were while pushing his wheeled chair back.

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Reid explained social distancing has been loosened on Good Morning Britain, though newsreader Charlotte Hawkins and the guests were still sitting at the end of the long desk, keeping their distance from the presenters and from each other.

Madeley then recalled one of the many weird occurrences with the virtual divider: "I dropped my pen last week and I bent down to pick it up because you were asking a question and you said, ‘He’s disappeared’."

Ben Shephard is standing in for Piers Morgan on 'Good Morning Britain' with Susanna Reid. (ITV)
The GMB hosts are still not as close as they were before the pandemic. (ITV)

The presenter then quipped that: "We’ll get back used to it, because co-presenting is about co-presenting quite closely together, and it's been quite hard actually."

Reid then joked, "Erm, that is close enough, Richard," telling her co-host he should wear less aftershave.

Madeley also admitted that it's sometimes been a struggle to hear his co-host while sitting so far apart.

The show had already loosened its social distancing measures compared with the start of the pandemic, when a limited number of people were allowed in the studio at the same time.

That was the first thing to change, when both crew and guests were able to join the presenters after the third lockdown in England at the start of 2021.

Watch: Susannah Reid calls out Richard Madeley on Good Morning Britain