Dan Walker has fired back at his one-time daytime TV rival Piers Morgan, after the former Good Morning Britain host branded him “bitter”.
Over the course of their respective tenures at BBC Breakfast and Good Morning Britain, the two presenters were engaged in a usually-playful rivalry that largely revolved around their viewing figures and differing interview styles.
While presenting at the RTS Television Journalism Awards, Dan took the opportunity to take a pop at Piers, which he took issue with.
Telling the audience he was “up to my eyeballs” on drugs after his recent road accident, the Channel 5 News anchor said: “I’ve lost all my inhibitions. It could be a fun night everybody, okay. I’d like to apologise in advance for anything that I might say that is near the knuckle. My idea of where the knuckle is has completely changed within the last 10 days.
“To give you an idea of my mental state, let me put it this way: if a weather presenter were to question me in any way, shape, or form, I’m liable to storm off stage in an enormous huff.”
“I might even go as far as to start a new TV channel based entirely on my ego, which no-one will watch,” he added, alluding to Piers’ infamous GMB walk-off and subsequent move to TalkTV.
The following day, Piers tweeted: “If I were Dan Walker, and I’d been kicked off Match of the Day and BBC Breakfast, then washed up on Channel 5 daytime, and only got press these days by falling off a bike, getting a few grazes, and milking it like I’d survived a terror attack, I’d be this bitter too.”
Responding to this, Dan wrote back later that evening: “What a laugh.
“Interesting idea of taking a lesson on bitterness from a fella who has written article after article attacking a woman who had one drink with him and thought he was a numptie.”
“We missed you last night,” he added. “You should have come.”
While Piers and Dan’s rivalry had – in the most part – remained friendly, last year, the former BBC presenter said there was one particular incident in which he believed his former ITV rival “overstepped the mark”.