Madeley on GMB anniversary: Ending minister interview is my most notable moment

Richard Madeley has highlighted him terminating a live TV interview with the then defence secretary Gavin Williamson as the most memorable moment from his career on Good Morning Britain (GMB).

The ITV breakfast programme, which has seen more than 2,500 episodes air since its launch in April 2014, celebrates its 10th birthday on Sunday.

Since being established, the show has been nominated for news coverage Baftas for its Thomas Markle exclusive and a knife crime special and taken home a special award at the Tric (the Television and Radio Industries Club) awards.

GMB broadcaster Susanna Reid has also picked up presenting prizes at the Royal Television Society (RTS) and Tric awards shows.

After being asked for his most memorable moment, Madeley said: “Probably the morning I turfed a Cabinet minister off the programme for repeatedly refusing to answer a straight question. They all do it, but this was a particularly outrageous example.

Coronavirus – Wed Jan 27, 2021
Former defence secretary Gavin Williamson (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

“The then defence secretary Gavin Williamson just kept blatantly dodging a really simple query.

“What really annoyed me was the disrespect being shown not to me, but to the viewers.

“We ask questions on their behalf, not ours. I suddenly heard myself say, ‘OK, interview terminated because you won’t answer the question’. I’m not sure who was more shocked, him or me.”

In May 2018, Madeley had asked Mr Williamson if he regretted telling Russia to “go away and shut up” after Moscow denied responsibility for the Salisbury poison attack.

TRIC Awards 2023
Laura Tobin, Sean Fletcher, Charlotte Hawkins, Susanna Reid, Richard Arnold and Ed Balls with the Tric Special Award for Good Morning Britain (Ian West/PA)

Mr Williamson instead paid tribute to the healthcare workers who treated Sergei and Yulia Skripal and talked about the circumstances of what happened.

After a back and forth, Madeley responded saying: “Right, you’re not going to answer, are you? OK. All right, interview terminated because you won’t answer the question. It would be helpful if you answered a straight question with a straight answer.”

In March 2021, Piers Morgan also walked out of a live broadcast following an on-air clash with weather presenter Alex Beresford over the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.

He said he did not believe Meghan’s claims and later quit the programme.

That same year, EastEnders star Patsy Palmer shut down an interview with Reid and Ben Shephard saying she was doing “a Piers Morgan”.

She said that it was not OK “to have from addict to wellness guru on the bottom of the screen”.

Shephard and Reid later apologised to her.

Conservative Party Conference 2023
Good Morning Britain presenter Susanna Reid (Peter Byrne/PA)

Recalling her most memorable moment, Reid spoke about joining the show from BBC Breakfast saying: “The first one has to be the launch.

“I remember sitting next to the wonderful Ben Shephard, who just as the opening credits were rolling whispered, ‘You’ll never get a second chance to enjoy this moment because this is the only moment we’ll ever launch this programme, Good Morning Britain, on ITV to the nation. So enjoy every second of it.”

“You can be quite nervous when you’re presenting a new programme as there’s a lot of pressure, lots of responsibility and there is obviously lots of media attention.

“And when he said that, I just thought, ‘You’re absolutely right!’. In that moment when the music’s running – yes, just enjoy it! So that’s such a memorable moment for me.”

She also highlighted her covering the late Queen’s funeral in September 2022 and interviewing former prime minister Boris Johnson before he resigned.

Good Morning Britain’s 10th anniversary will be celebrated on Sunday.