Richard Madeley channels Alan Partridge in car crash RMT interview

GMB the RMT's Mick Lynch and Alan Partridge
Support us and go ad-free

Good Morning Britain (GMB) host Richard Madeley managed to unite much of social media against him on Tuesday 13 December. It came after the archaic TV presenter ‘interviewed’ (if you can call it that) National Union of Rail, Transport and Maritime Workers (RMT) general secretary Mick Lynch. The segment on GMB was such a disaster that some viewers thought comic character Alan Partridge had invaded their screens.

RMT: everybody out

RMT members were out on strike on 13 December. It was part of a series of walkouts after the union rejected a pay offer by Network Rail that was well below the rate of inflation. The RMT is taking action on:

  • 13-14 December.
  • 16-17 December.
  • From 6pm on Christmas Eve until 7am on 27 December.

Of course, the action over Christmas won’t directly affect passengers because few trains run on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. This hasn’t stopped the corporate media fueling anti-strike sentiment, though – with the BBC pushing fake stories about the RMT disrupting people’s Christmas plans, and the Guardian using its best divide-and-conquer tactics to foment disquiet. So, to continue this trend, enter Madeley on GMB – doing his best Jeremy Paxman impression, but ending up looking more like Alan Partridge.

A-ha! I’m Richard Madeley!

Madeley was tasked with interviewing Lynch – no mean feat to be fair, given the RMT head’s reputation for making corporate journalists soil themselves. However, the GMB host clearly believed he’d had his Weetabix on 13 December – it’s just that no-one else thought so.

The former This Morning presenter put it to Lynch that “many people” were:

appalled that you are striking over Christmas, over this Christmas week.

This seemed to be in reference to the RMT’s 24-27 December strikes. Madeley asked why the union couldn’t have taken strike action in January. Lynch began to answer by saying:

Read on...

Well, we’re not targeting Christmas. It isn’t Christmas yet, Richard. I don’t know when your Christmas starts, but mine starts on Christmas Eve.

The GMB host then lost it. He accused Lynch of being “disingenuous”, saying “commercial Christmas starts in December”. Madeley continued to labour this point – despite it not being what he originally said in his question. Lynch attempted to answer, but Madeley continued his rant, saying:

You said that Christmas started on Christmas Eve, and that’s nonsense. I won’t let you get away with nonsense. Christmas does not start on Christmas Eve. So, let’s just be clear. It starts in early December and that’s what we’re talking about.

Of course, what Madeley is actually talking about is not your Christmas or mine – one that, given the catastrophic cost of living crisis, is likely to be a miserable affair. The GMB host is talking about business owners (the same class of people denying RMT members a proper pay rise) and the middle and upper classes – for whom December is all about spending. You’d be forgiven for struggling to pick up that point from Madeley’s incoherent waffle, though – as Lynch asked:

Richard, why don’t you just interview yourself

So, narcissist Madeley channeled the best bit of script from the 1980s Ladybird Book of Journalism:

I’m holding you to account on behalf of the viewers

You could almost feel his ego swell as he thought he’d duped the audience into believing he was something other than a washed-up, right-wing hack from a bygone era:

‘Back of the net’ – except it was an own goal for Madeley

Sadly for Madeley, most people weren’t fooled by his piece of am-dram performance art:

The comparisons to Steve Coogan’s comedy creation ‘Alan Partridge’ came thick and fast:

Madeley looked and sounded like a dickhead. Of course, the broader point here is that that’s exactly what GMB bosses want. The host acting like a clusterfucking TV character is a ratings win for ITV. It’s hopefully a win for the RMT too – as Lynch came across like the rational one to Madeley’s Partridge. ‘Back of the net’, you might say.

Featured image via Good Morning Britain – YouTube and Baby Cow – YouTube

We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support

The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.

The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.

So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.

Support us