Next week marks a year since Piers stepped down as the host of Good Morning Britain amid a cloud of controversy.
Susanna Reid has opened up about her relationship with former Good Morning Britain co-star Piers Morgan, as the anniversary of his explosive exit approaches.
Next week will mark one year since Piers stepped down as a GMB anchor, the same day he stormed off set live on air after being confronted by colleague Alex Beresford about comments he’d made about Meghan Markle the previous morning.
Despite the controversy surrounding Piers’ departure from GMB, Susanna has insisted that the divisive presenter is still “a really important person” in her life.
“We stay in touch,” she told The Sun. “And he’s a really important person in my life. We had such an amazing time and that was an incredible dynamic.”
She continued: “He really put his imprint on the programme and it was very powerful.
“I remember early on, the rows about the role of women and feminism, and those arguments felt like the big issue at the time, and then, of course, we moved on to Brexit and Trump.
“We went through some really difficult times together as a team and those were very powerful moments. And when it came to the lockdown, the pandemic and holding the government to account, he was just unrivalled at holding their feet to the fire, but then it ended.”
“All presenting gigs come to an end at some point, don’t they? As they will for all of us,” she added. “He’s a friend of mine and that won’t change.”
During the interview, Susanna also admitted that Piers’ approach to broadcasting rubbed off on her during their five years working together.
She told the tabloid: “I do feel that I am thicker skinned, more resilient, bolder, but with sensitivity. You grow as a presenter and whatever job you’re doing, and whoever you’re working with, you’ll probably pick up some of their things but also develop your own skills as well.
“You’re constantly looking around at the way that other people are doing interviews. Piers is one of the influences on the way that I operate, but there are many influences.
“I do reflect on my responsibility as a woman on screen, and being strong but also embracing your femininity. When you’re in television news, you want to make television that matters.”
Prior to leaving GMB, Piers came under fire from viewers when he cast doubt on claims made by the Duchess of Sussex that she had experienced suicidal thoughts during her time as a senior member of the Royal Family.
Ofcom quickly announced they would be launching an investigation about his remarks, with the TV watchdog eventually receiving a record number of complaints about the incident, including one from Meghan herself.
They ruled six months later that the broadcast was not in breach of their code, pointing out that Piers had been challenged about his views, most notably by Susanna, who was presenting alongside him at the time.
Since stepping down from GMB in March 2021, Piers has made a number of seemingly conflicting comments about the nature of his exit.
While he initially said that his departure was “amicable” and that it was his own decision to leave, he later blamed “cancel culture” for him “losing” his GMB role.
The morning after the news of his exit, Piers told reporters: “I had a good chat with ITV and we agreed to disagree. I’m just going to take it easy and see how we go.”
“If I have to fall on my sword for expressing an honestly-held opinion about Meghan Markle and that diatribe of bilge that she came out with in that interview, so be it,” he added at the time.
More recently, Piers admitted his departure from GMB had been a “bruising” experience.
“Effectively I was censored at my previous job,” he claimed. ”[I was] told to apologise to Meghan Markle for an honestly-held opinion, which obviously I wasn’t going to do.”