Piers Morgan will be pleased this morning: the overnight BARB figures mean for once he doesn’t need to strain every muscle to put a positive shine on his viewing figures. His interview with Rishi last night pulled in an average of 120,000 for the hour, peaking at 140,000 for the first 15 minutes.
The interview was entertaining, and generated a number of headlines on his tax returns, plans on small boats and nurses’ pay. It also gave us a couple of great viral moments thanks to yet another poorly-phrased ‘coke addiction’ confession from the PM, and this brilliantly awkward silence when Piers pushed him on his wealth. From the highs of Piers’s interview, the struggling station’s Tom Newton Dunn managed to pull in just 700 viewers at one point for his paper review show an hour later…
Guido has the new autumn schedule for Talk TV. To no one’s surprise Tom Newton Dunn’s “The News Desk” has been scrapped. The new line up seems far more like an ITV schedule:
Jeremy Kyle gets the warm-up spot for Piers Morgan. With his old show often getting less than a five-figure audience, sometimes not even registering a measurable audience, Tom is putting a positive gloss on getting the late night shift:
“First Edition is a really exciting opportunity to redefine what a flagship evening news programme looks like. We want to produce a news hour that not just looks back on the day, but sets the agenda and looks forward into tomorrow, with the help of the next day’s newspaper first editions and a full paper review. With TalkTV’s own growing reporting cadre, and the world beating journalism across News UK’s titles, we are brilliantly placed to do this.”
So it is another paper review show.
There’s a fundamental problem with BBC impartiality with BBC business reporting and cost of living stories are bringing it to the fore. Last Wednesday Guido asked whether a BBC interviewer had ever asked a minister “Why don’t you cut taxes and let people decide their own spending priorities with their own money?”. The problem is while Tory spokesmen can expect to be challenged with left-wing criticisms, the BBC’s approach to Labour’s policy offerings are also to attack them from the left, not the right. The BBC’s approach to probing questioning seems to always be to frame them from the perspective of ‘why don’t you spend more’…
This morning’s Today interview of Starmer is a prime example. Of the 15 questions posed about the economy and his energy cap policy, 10 were from the perspective of ‘that’s not left-wing enough’. A usually fair Martha Kearney cited critiques of Starmer by a former Corbyn advisor, the TUC, Gordon Brown and John McDonnell to name a few. Nothing that could be construed as from a non-left perspective. The IFS’s inflation warning got one intervention, the concerns about backdating the windfall tax and its effect on business confidence got two, and the Bank of England’s argument on wage-price spiralling got one.
Here are the interview interventions Sir Keir received:
📈Everybody’s going to be benefiting from the cap freeze so why aren’t you targeting the help to the people who need it most?
📈Your support for those on pre-payment meters is only £45 a year, welcome to them but given the scale of what we’re talking about is a drop in the ocean
📈There will be lots of households who can afford their bills, and Richard Murphy – a left-wing economist who advised the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn – has been writing “Starmer will subsidise the best off 20% of households by more than £10 billion, when they’ll definitely not be in fuel poverty”
📈But you could, for example, have decided to spend the billions and billions of pounds on giving people on Universal Credit a temporary uplift
📉On inflation you’ll have heard the IFS saying earlier in a way this is an illusion because inflation will go up again after six months
📉Are you contemplating that the freeze could continue beyond the next six months? This is already costing £30 billion, increasing it for a year would be £60 billion – on the scale of furlough
📉You would backdate the windfall tax – hugely unpopular with business and a huge deterant for investment in this country won’t it
📈Your criticism of the energy companies raises the question of renationalisation. John McDonnell former shadow chancellor says that it’s a “short term solution of giving £29 billion of public money to energy companies with nothin in return”
📈You’re propping up energy companies
📈The TUC are saying it’d be £2.5 billion to renationalise energy companies, but given you’re looking at £30 billion over six months and haven’t ruled out taking further action, could be £60 billion over the course of a year, why not spend that money on renationalising the companies and give security to their customers?
📈Gordon Brown doesn’t agree with you, he says as a last resort the government should opperate their essential services from the public sector until the crisis is over
📈Do you agree with calls for higher public sector wages?
📈Do you support NHS strikes?
📉Do you agree with the governor of the Bank of England that wage increases help fuel inflation?
If you watch US business television news channels – Bloomberg and CNBC for example – covering the same issues, they tend to frame questions in a technical way, seeking enlightenment and practical solutions rather than political prognostications. The not-for-profit BBC invariably reports profits as problematic, not a sign of success to be celebrated. Liz Truss recently told Tom Newton Dunn “This is the problem with the way every question is framed… You’re framing it in a left-wing way Tom. The whole media does it all the time, it drives me mad.” It drives Guido to despair too. You only end up with a set of questions of this kind, if you have an organisational groupthink that fundamentally believes the solution to all problems is more government spending…
Last night saw Liz turn fire on TalkTV’s Tom Newton Dunn once again, after their previous showdown in Darlington. On Tuesday Liz was accused of attacking the media as a whole, after slamming certain papers for calling tax cuts “handouts” and talking Britain down. The media, en masse, had a hissy fit…
Last night Camilla Tominey hauled Liz up on these comments, after Liz complained the media doesn’t spend enough time talking about the benefits of our new post-Brexit trade deals:
Camilla: Are you happy with the press this week? Because you’ve had a bit of a go at us
Liz: Well I had a go at Tom Newton Dunn, but you’re asking much sounder questions Camilla.
Camilla: Thank you!
Guido imagines fewer in the media will be peeved off about individual attacks on Tom…
At points during last night’s husting it felt like Tom Newton Dunn was getting more of a pasting from Liz than Rishi. During the course of her sit-down interview she – quite rightly – attacked the press for framing her tax cuts as “handouts“; bringing down Boris; proposing a “bizarre” “kangaroo committee” of her, Rishi and the CBI; and for not believing in Britain. Tom was clearly smarting, telling the foreign secretary off when they hugged for her “cheap” attacks. Grow a pair…
According to BARB data, the screen message telling viewers last night that TalkTV was off air was watched by one of the channel’s highest ever audiences. An average of 141,000 people tuned in, which is double Piers Morgan’s usual figure for his slot. The debate peaked with 183,000 viewers tuning in shortly after starting. Even so, BBC News, Sky News and GB News all recorded a greater audience than TalkTV did across the whole of primetime, according to the overnight data. Disappointing for the station which is reportedly on the verge of rejigging its primetime schedule…
You didn’t dent my studio floor, right? https://t.co/VUjwHGxvpU— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 27, 2022
Although the debate last night was broadcast from Piers’s Ealing studio, the media advisers of both Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss were adamant they did not want Piers Morgan to host the show. The honour went to Harry Cole and Kate McCann, however Harry dropped out on the morning with Covid. Given Tom Newton Dunn was on holiday the pressure was now entirely on Kate McCann. There was no back-up plan for her…
Richard Wallace, a former tabloid editor who worked on The X Factor, is reportedly revamping TalkTV’s line-up. It is also rumoured that Jeremy Kyle could be shifted to the 7pm slot with Tom Newton-Dunn’s News Desk show moved to after Piers Morgan Unwatched. Rather than the current video-of-a-radio-presenter format this would be a real TV show. Jeremy Kyle’s former daytime ITV show used to garner a million viewers before it was cancelled. If Kyle could win back a fraction of that audience it would dramatically boost the numbers handed on to Piers from the few thousand he inherits currently…