Alastair Campbell has revealed Good Morning Britain bosses handed him an Ofcom ‘banned word’ list over fears he’d go full blown Malcolm Tucker from The Thick of It – notorious for his foul-mouthed outbursts.
The former Labour spin-doctor made his debut presenting Good Morning Britain for Mental Health Week alongside Susanna Reid today and admitted producers feared he’d embody the ferocious character from the satirical sitcom, who acts as the Prime Minister’s chief enforcer overseeing cabinet ministers.
‘I was interested to know, Alastair, that part of your briefing was that you had been issued with the Ofcom banned words list,’ Susanna cheekily probed.
‘Some of them, I didn’t even know it existed,’ Alastair replied.
‘I think they were worried I was going to go all Malcolm Tucker on you, Susanna, which I promise I won’t.’
Despite Susanna’s former co-host, Piers Morgan – who quit Good Morning Britain in March – being at the centre of countless Ofcom rows, she wasn’t aware of the banned word list.
Alastair’s presenting gig on GMB divided viewers, including Piers – who before the spin doctor’s first episode questioned what ITV bosses were thinking.
‘My ex-TV wife Susanna Reid told viewers her new partner was “someone to provoke strong reaction and lively debate, tackle the big issues and speak in a language that real people understand”,’ he wrote in his Daily Mail column.
He also took issue with the official GMB Twitter account encouraging Alastair to engage in fiery debates and to not ‘hold back’, given the nature of his exit, sparked by backlash over his remarks dismissing Meghan Markle’s mental health struggles.
‘I’ve known Alastair for donkey’s years and, despite numerous bust-ups, always got on well with him. He’s also a properly trained and very experienced journalist, which I think every news show presenter should be. So, I wish him well,’ he said.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.
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