Boris Johnson is to be interviewed on ITV’s Good Morning Britain after dodging the show for almost five years.
The prime minister refused to appear on the show when it was hosted by Piers Morgan, even hiding in a fridge to avoid the presenter’s questions in 2019.
But he has now agreed to a sit-down interview with the host Susanna Reid live from 10 Downing Street on Tuesday morning.
Reid’s fellow presenter Kate Garraway announced the interview on Monday, saying it had been “1,790 days, nearly five years, since he [the PM] last spoke to this show”.
The prime minister’s press secretary was heard swearing after the Good Morning Britain news correspondent Jonathan Swain asked Johnson for an interview during a pre-dawn visit to Modern Milkman, a dairy business in Pudsey, West Yorkshire, in December 2019.
Conservative sources later said Johnson was “categorically not hiding” in the fridge, from which the he emerged carrying a crate of milk bottles.
Johnson was also accused of dodging Ranvir Singh, the breakfast show’s political editor, at last year’s Conservative party conference in Manchester. He raised his hands and walked off as she said: “Prime minister, Good Morning Britain would like to have you on the show. 1,500 days it’s been, prime minister, since you’ve been on the show.”
Morgan welcomed the announcement, tweeting: “He’s out of the fridge! If you’re doing the rounds Boris Johnson – you know where to find me.”
The prime minister was last interviewed on the show in 2017 when he was foreign secretary.
Reid and Morgan accused the government of boycotting the show during the pandemic.
In November 2020, in an article for the i, Reid said: “I think the government is refusing to put ministers on the show because they don’t want to be challenged in a robust way.”
The government’s 201-day snub ended days later after the departure of Johnson’s aides Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain.
The prime minister’s attitude towards Morgan also appears to have softened since then. During a recent appearance on TalkTV, where Morgan hosts a nightly talkshow, he told the presenter Tom Newton Dunn: “We love Piers and I’m sure he’ll do an outstanding job too.”
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