Why Piers Morgan has let me down | Rebecca Jane
Piers Morgan. What a polarising soul! Like him or loathe him, you can’t deny he creates a conversation.
Unfortunately you folk of Burnley don’t get Piers, you get a mouthy luminous red-head in the form of myself, often offering up opinions that aren’t even asked for!
I’ve spent over 10 years sitting on the daytime sofas at ITV, and more commonly ‘This Morning’ and ‘Good Morning Britain’, often alongside Mr Morgan. If there is one thing I understand in television, we have a job to do, and that is to ‘create a conversation’.
My editors and producers call these segments ‘debates’, but personally I believe we have very fancy arguments and if you sit on a fence, you’re committing career suicide!
To give you an insight behind daytime television debates, here is exactly what happens.
A couple of times a week your producer will call you up and discuss items that have been in the news that week. Generally, anything that creates controversy.
They ask your opinion on a variety of subjects and you have to give your very unfiltered views. You are NEVER asked to argue a certain side of a topic, you must be authentic to your view.
They then source the opposing view, and you’re each told the top line arguments of your opposition - so you can prepare for what you’re going to be hit with on live TV.
You MUST NEVER find the middle ground. Even if you could waiver, or you have grey areas on a subject. You do NOT say them. You stick to your side of the argument and you battle it out until the death!
It doesn’t matter how heated debates get, you leave the argument on the studio floor! Back in the green room you’re all friends again. There is a mutual respect for the job we have to do.
Although there was one inexperienced lady, after her first debate who still carried on ranting at me for a solid 35 minutes, all the way until I got in the lift to leave! Safe to say, she was never seen on TV again!
What is our job?
TO MAKE PEOPLE THINK! To create conversation, to be controversial, but not inauthentic. I will be the first to say it, I have had some strong opinions over the years and to this day I will still get abuse on social media for them.
I LOVE when people have educated and informed arguments with me about the topics I have talked about. I draw a line when people get personal. I have been told multiple ways in which I should die, I have been threatened with just about everything under the sun, my appearance has been criticised beyond everything imaginable and I’ve even been told I probably sexually abuse my children!
So, what have I said?!
Well, I have claimed I wouldn’t hire a woman for a job if she didn’t wear make-up to the interview. A strong stance I know, however my point was if you gave me two women with equal qualifications, equal skill sets and one was wearing make-up but the other wasn’t, I’d take the one who was.
I have never really understood why people find it acceptable for the army to have such regimented rules on how their troops look, or that Richard Branson told airline ladies what colour of lipstick to wear, however, my view was widely criticized.
I have debated arguments from ‘if choosing to be a housewife is a lazy decision’, ‘should smoking in the street be banned’ and the time I officially say we ‘scraped the barrel’ in debate land was when I was asked to declare my views if ‘children should be ‘encouraged to pick their nose and eat it… for the health benefits, of course’.
Look that one up on YouTube, I gagged my entire way through the conversation!
I’m not right.
The truth is, I’m not right or wrong! No one is. Our job is to debate, make the public think and provide entertainment.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and every opinion has merit! Do I wholeheartedly agree with everything I have claimed and I refuse to see the opposing side? Absolutely not! After the make up debate I went on to hire a woman that never wore make-up, I even gave her a branch of my business to run! Debating is a job - and we ALL have grey areas!
Piers Morgan had a job to do, he did it, and then some! Whatever your current thoughts on him, he created conversation and vocalised a lot of views for people who often don’t have a voice.
I have found myself on the opposite side of Piers on a few occasions, personally I love that! Mainly because he hogs the whole conversation if you’re actually on the same side as him and you can’t get a word in edgewise… but mainly because I respect his right to voice his opinion.
The irony was not lost on me last week when social media was awash with people championing mental health views, whilst absolutely abusing Piers in the process. Just because we didn’t like what he said, never gives a person the right to abuse another for their view. Twitter is FULL of keyboard warriors, and as I said last week, judgement is one of the biggest killers in the world.
Piers and his little white flag
As a result, Piers Morgan has resigned from ‘Good Morning Britain’.
Who is going to argue the controversial opinions now? What is our society if we all form part of the PC Brigade? Are we all destined to live in a snowflake society, afraid to voice our true thoughts? Conversation makes the world go round.
Personally, Piers… you’ve let me down. You voiced a lot of the topics I, like many, were afraid to say out loud. I didn’t always agree with everything you said, but quite often I found your voice was my voice, and now it’s gone!
Wherever you are now, waiving your little white flag, I can promise you, it wasn’t worth it. It was your job to stay, fight your fight and speak up for the people without a voice. I already can’t wait for your return...