Daytime TV presenter Richard Madeley has been confirmed as Piers Morgan’s GMB replacement, reports claim.
The 65-year-old ‘Richard and Judy’ host has proven a real hit with viewers ITV’s breakfast news and chat show since he stepped in as a short term co-host with Susanna Reid.
However, ITV have yet to confirm the news and his representatives have denied that a deal had not been struck, claiming he is “part of a revolving family of presenters”, with “no plans to change that."
Despite his reps acting quick to dispel rumours, The Sun has reported that he is in the final stages of signing a £300k a year deal with broadcaster.
The move would make sense for bosses of the show, since Madeley’s hosting has resulted in a steady recovery of viewing figures since Morgan stormed off the show in March.
Madeley’s ‘revolving’ presenter role has been touted as a “trial period,” for which he has successfully proven he is worth the handsome pay deal.
The Sun claims a reputable source told how he discussed the decision with his wife Judy Finnigan, before deciding “sod it,” and agreeing on a full time contract.
“As the weeks have gone by, and he's proven a constant hit with viewers, he's really got into his stride and has been enjoying it more and more,” the source told the publication.
“He polls really well with fans and ratings have steadily been on the rise again over the past six months. After a couple of meetings with ITV bosses, he was offered a full-time contract. And after consulting with his family, especially wife Judy, he decided 'sod it' — and to go for it.”
I’m A Celebrity - Get Me on GMB
Richard will start his new role after appearing on ITV's I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! which starts on November 21, reports The Sun.
He has been considered a firm favourite for the celebrity jungle show, which is taking place in a Welsh castle again this year.
The Sun’s source described Ant and Dec’s flagship ITV show as “the perfect launch pad,” for Madeley to rejuvenate his 40 year long career.
Richard - who co-hosted This Morning with Judy from 1988 until 2001 - is expected to host for two or three days a week.
‘Family of Presenters’
While Madeley might be the sensible option for ITV bosses looking to cement the morning show as the nation’s favourite, there is yet to be any confirmation on the potential contract.
An ITV spokesman told The Sun: “GMB is performing well with its established family of presenters and a rotation of guest presenters. There are no current plans to change this format.”
Madeley previously told Metro he would be up for negotiating a full-time deal.
“If the phone went and they said, 'Would you come in and talk?' of course I would talk to them. It would be bonkers not to,” he said. “But I very much like sitting in for people. I have all the fun and very little of the responsibility or flak.”
And on the subject of flak, he said of Twitter users who complain about his opinionated presenting style: “'I personally couldn't give a f**k. Far too many younger presenters have been affected by Twitter and cowed by it.
“I remember when I started sitting in for Piers on Good Morning Britain, I'd have a look at Twitter after I'd done a programme and, yes, you get some nice comments but you also get horrendous abuse and, from time to time, death threats.”
GMB is on every weekday morning, from 6am-9am on ITV.