SUSANNA REID: Piers and Me? Those fights aren't just for the cameras

From red carpet to real life…SUSANNA REID: Piers and Me? Those fights aren’t just for the cameras

  • Susanna revealed her relationship with Piers Morgan is compared to marriage 
  • TV presenter said university is also about socialising and which is harder online
  • She revealed how the weekly Clap For Our Carers has become a national ritual  
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

There’s something fascinating about what keeps couples together, isn’t there? Goldie Hawn said recently that the secret to her nearly 40-year partnership with Kurt Russell is forgiving mistakes.

Like Goldie and Kurt, my long-term partner and I never married. We were together for 17 years and remain good friends.

But I am in a relationship that is constantly compared to a marriage — with Piers Morgan. Piers calls me his ‘TV wife’, and this year we celebrate our fifth anniversary together presenting Good Morning Britain.

Luckily, due to the coronavirus, we now sit at a two-metre distance and the ban on any physical contact means, despite reaching this landmark, we won’t have to hug each other.

Susanna Reid said she never got married to her long-term partner. They were together for 17 years and remain good friends

We’re one of those couples who fight, and it’s not just for the cameras. We often have rows in the editorial meeting that we continue on air.

We met long before we ‘got together’ as co-hosts. Fourteen years ago I first interviewed him on the BBC sofa. I seem to remember being glad it was only a brief encounter. Now we host a breakfast show together, and viewers say it’s like watching ‘mum and dad argue in front of the kids’. Truth be told, by the time I get home, I feel like I’ve been through the wringer.

But here’s the thing. It’s a dynamite dynamic. However strongly Piers argues his point, I’m there to represent the other side, even when it’s unpopular. He needs me to be the yin to his yang.

So I asked my ‘TV husband’ what he thinks is the secret of a long-lasting relationship. It is this: ‘In an argument, it is always important that someone knows when to stop.’

Susanna said she is in a relationship that is constantly compared to a marriage — with Piers Morgan

Oh, the irony. I can’t imagine Piers ever stops. He is a row-ing machine, never happier than when he’s in a verbal punch-up, tearing chunks out of someone. He could start a fight in an empty room, and often does, happily arguing with strangers on Twitter.

He is like a dog with a bone, not letting opponents speak, delivering monologues, convinced he is right. Ending an argument? I’ve never seen him do that. So I asked him about his real marriage to the beautiful, brainy Celia Walden. Who was the one to stop the argument there, I wondered?

His reply left me speechless. He said he could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times he and his wife have had a serious row in the ten years they have been married. ‘I spend all day shouting at people, so I get home and can’t be bothered,’ he said.

His home marriage and work marriage are incomparable. Viewers have watched, tweeted, emailed and taken part in our heated rows.

Piers and I argue more times than I can count on both hands in the course of an average week. There’s his harsh treatment of Meghan Markle, which is not on, whatever she’s done; his views on feminism; his belief that fat-shaming is a good way to make us all lose weight.

And although I am furious about Dominic Cummings’s misdemeanours (driving to test your eyesight? Come on!) I disagree with Piers about the main trip to Durham. I allow that it could fall within the provisions for looking after a child.

But now there is more on which we do agree. While I backed the Government’s initial moves to tackle the coronavirus, I now agree with Piers that it acted too slowly on testing, PPE and, critically, on care homes.

For once, our joint fury is directed at the Government, but every single minister refuses to appear on the programme.

It is a dereliction of duty not to address our audience, who rightly feel let down. And if ministers can’t face the fight with Piers, I’ll happily remind them that I do it every day.

Boris Johnson was trained at the finest debating society in the world, but hid in a fridge rather than answer our questions before the election. I might need to cool down after a morning at the argumentative coalface, but if you can’t stand the heat, hiding in a fridge is beyond OTT.

So Happy Anniversary to my ‘work husband’. In my search for what makes a relationship a success, I’ve found it is the arguments that are the key to ours.

The traditional gift for a five-year wedding anniversary is wood. In our case, a Punch and Judy rolling pin might be appropriate.

My son’s £9,250 fee for a year of NOT going to uni 

Like many parents, I am wrestling with the idea of my teenager going to university this year. Tuition fees of up to £9,250 for lectures that are online sounds like money badly spent. 

And with no access to bars, clubs, freshers’ parties or societies, I worry he won’t get the full experience. 

From my hazy memory, it is outside the lecture halls that university life is built. But my son isn’t put off. 

He’s a screen-addict anyway, so lectures on his laptop are more convenient. Plus, he might be saved the hangovers that have blurred my memory of my own fun year as a fresher. 

In spirit I’ll clap for carers – AND for my dear friend Kate Garraway 

It will be strange this evening when we don’t all gather on our doorsteps, pots and pans in hand, to Clap For Our Carers.

It has become a national ritual to honour our wonderful NHS medical teams and all those who have saved lives during this crisis.

Although officially this has come to an end, I’m sure many people will continue to mark 8pm in their own way, even if just taking a moment for reflection. Last week in my street, a music teacher conducted a mini-orchestra of instruments, and a neighbour joined in with a saxophone.

ITV’s Kate Garraway, whose husband Derek Draper (together) has been in a critical care unit with Covid-19 for ten weeks

It has been a time of unity with people around us, and I know that it has been a source of great comfort for my dear friend and ITV colleague Kate Garraway, whose husband Derek Draper has been in a critical care unit with Covid-19 for ten weeks.

Kate’s moving Instagram posts every Thursday evening have kept everyone connected. Both Kate and Derek are in my thoughts every day.

MAGNETIC MEMORIES 

No overnight stays in the UK and a two- week quarantine if we go abroad — these rules are making the summer look a lot less like a holiday. But every time I go to the fridge for a bit of comfort eating, I am reminded of the places we’re missing.

A Hollywood number plate (pictured) takes me back to our trip to LA to cover the Oscars

It is covered with magnets from my travels. A Hollywood number plate (pictured) takes me back to our trip to LA to cover the Oscars; a beach scene reminds me of swimming in the surf; and an Icelandic view of Silfra, where the boys went snorkelling last year, brings back the happiest memories.

I’ll add to the collection next year.

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