BBC One and ITV amend morning schedules in light of the Manchester Arena bombing, while Good Morning Britain’s coverage has caused controversy.
Both BBC One and ITV today dropped their usual programming to reflect and continue to update on the Manchester Arena bombing last evening. BBC Breakfast, based in Salford, aired as usual with a BBC News Special broadcasting afterwards replacing shows including Homes Under The Hammer and Bargain Hunt, through to The One O’Clock News.
BBC Breakfast, hosted by Dan Walker in the Salford studio and Louise Minchin at the arena, dropped its lighter features to focus on the events. The One O’Clock News was presented from Manchester by Ben Brown. The reserved decorum, expert opinions and fact-only beeb coverage was lacking from ITV’s Good Morning Britain as controversial host Piers Morgan left viewers unimpressed with his handling of the tragic incident.
Morgan, speaking to Coronation Street actors, Sally Dynevor and Connie Hyde, who had been scheduled to appear to discuss forthcoming Corrie plots, were brought into the coverage of the Manchester atrocity due to the ITV serial being produced in Salford.
“We want to say before the chat begins that we didn’t come down to talk about this. We came to talk about Coronation Street. Right now, we are in a state of shock. We want to thank the emergency services, who have been amazing. Especially all the doctors that worked through the night. The people of Manchester are strong and resilient but this is terrible…” – Sally Dynevor
While Sally and Connie both conducted themselves with professionalism, viewers were left unimpressed with Morgan’s tone and comments made about the incident and how there needed to be more effort by ‘the Muslim community’ to ‘crack down’ on extremism. Connie Hyde hit back noting ‘At the moment, I don’t know if that is helping the families affected today. I think this is anger and we should not think like that.’ Co-star Dynevor added it was unwise to blame the Muslim community for what has happened. ‘This was just one individual. It’s very rare and we cannot allow this to stop us. We have to carry on.’
“I woke up this morning and couldn’t believe it. But we have to think of all the wonderful things people did last night. The way that people were coming out to help one another was amazing. Love has to come through, not hate. We have to remember all the good things people are doing and not concentrate on the hate.” – Sally Dynevor
Morgan was criticised by viewers for the inappropriate timing of his comments; while there is a time and place to have a debate on what needs to be done to tackle extremists, it wasn’t appropriate, viewers felt, while it was still a breaking story and moreso when parents still have yet to find their children. Others noted that Piers was ‘speculating and perpetuating hate’.
Good Morning Britain’s co-host Susanna Reid also struggled to compose herself at one point during the programme following an interview with a mother whose daughter is currently missing following the bomb blast. The breakfast offering from ITV was followed by an ITV News Special, hosted by Mary Nightingale, which aired in place of the usual scheduled programmes such as This Morning and Loose Women.
The police have confirmed 22 people have tragically died in the incident, with a further fifty-nine injured. Reports conclude that an explosive device was set off in the foyer of Manchester Arena at circa 10.30pm last night following a concert by American singer Ariana Grande. The majority of her audience were young fans.
The North West however came together following the blast, with offers of transport and places to stay for those affected by incident while the Cheshire Community Foundation has set up a fund following the attack at Manchester Arena last night. All the money raised by the public will go to help the victims and families.
Cheshire Community Foundation, which has its head office in Northwich, Cheshire, connects charitable donors with the causes that matter across Cheshire and Warrington. The foundation was established in 2011 with the help of its Patron, the late Duke of Westminster.
If you would like to make a donation, please visit Cheshire Community Foundation’s My Donate page. This evening, Tuesday 23rd, a vigil is to be held at Manchester Town Hall.
“Manchester. Emergency services across it in moments. Taxi drivers offering free lifts home. Local hotels offering safe haven for children and families. Local people offering beds for the night. Whatever has happened tonight, we are stronger together and will not be beaten.” – comedian and presenter Jason Manford, commenting on Facebook