Love him, or hate him, Piers Morgan has been the voice of reason throughout the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
The no-nonsense Good Morning Britain presenter, who insists he really isn’t the pigeon lady in Home Alone II, called out government ministers for their inaction and consistently made sure they were held to account when other journalists opted to give them an easy ride.
Yes, Piers’ combative interview technique wasn’t always the right method of attack. In April, he was bombarded with Ofcom complaints about his manner in an interview with MP Helen Whately.
He also accused government ministers of boycotting Good Morning Britain as they made no appearance on the programme for a grand total of 201 days.
But since the first wave hit, efforts on the Covid-19 front haven’t gone unnoticed, so much so that the bookies are tipping him to receive a knighthood for his services.
Let’s take a look back at some of his standout moments in the face of the pandemic so far.
Offering to pay car parking fines for NHS workers
In March, Piers vowed to pay parking fines for NHS workers who were being ticketed while on shift fighting coronavirus on the front line.
The host was extremely vocal on the matter, demanding that all tickets given to healthcare workers should be null and void.
At the time, Piers said: ‘I will say now, to any health worker during the future of this crisis, however long it lasts, if any of you get a parking ticket, at a hospital where you’re working, I will pay it for you.
‘I will pay it, and I will then go to the government and have the battle, and you don’t get involved.’
Demanding the government take action when it didn’t
There were several moments throughout the year where Piers pushed for the government to enforce measures to stop the spread of the virus.
In March, Piers slammed Boris Johnson for not tightening the grip on social distancing amid the outbreak and pleaded that the Prime Minister put lives before the economy.
Time and time again, he called for ministers to end their supposed boycott of the show to answer questions on the government’s failings when viewers needed answers the most.
In October, Piers insisted Mr Johnson put a second UK lockdown was needed amid a rise in coronavirus cases – and was sent death threats for the pleasure.
Seriously, he did not rest.
Calling out celebrities for furloughing their staff using taxpayer money
Several celebrities came under fire during the first lockdown for using taxpayer money to furlough their staff and good old Piers didn’t hold back on calling them out.
Piers blasted millionaire Victoria Beckham after she reportedly made use of the scheme for her fashion brand, or as he called it, a ‘loss-making vanity project’.
Days later, Victoria made a U-turn over her decision, with her rep confirming to Metro.co.uk that her company would not use government assistance to protect its staff.
He also didn’t mince his words when Steve Coogan allegedly furloughed his house staff at his £4million country mansion.
‘This now wins the Victoria Beckham award for tone-deafness when you use government money to pay the staff,’ Piers ruled.
Declaring Dominic Cummings ‘single-handedly destroyed’ lockdown
Lockdown pretty much fell to pieces back in May when Boris Johnson’s former chief advisor Dominic Cummings was accused of breaching restrictions by driving to Barnard Castle to test his eyesight – and Piers summed up the disaster perfectly.
‘He’s destroyed trust in the Government,’ Piers said at the time. ‘He needs to go. God knows what Cummings had on Boris Johnson.
‘Every part of this story stinks. There he is, the guy who made the rules as if nothing happened. Britain has basically gone “forget the rule”.
‘It’s one rule for them and one rule for us.’
Slamming celebrities for breaking lockdown rules
It wasn’t just government ministers Piers gave a beating to during the pandemic this year, as celebrities flouting lockdown rules were also on his line of attack.
In November, he ripped into Laurence Fox for irresponsibly tweeting that he had a ‘large group’ of friends over to his house for lunch.
‘You know what Laurence? Why don’t you just shut up? Seriously,’ Piers reacted.
‘Why don’t you think about the NHS, think about these heroic people who right now in hospitals all around the country are continuing to save lives of complete strangers who have Covid-19, this lethal virus.’
That same month, it emerged Rita Ora broke lockdown restrictions by throwing a party to celebrate her 30th birthday.
‘If the rules aren’t for them then what’s the point of the rules?’ Piers pointed out, highlighting that celebrities aren’t exempt from legislation and have an example to set.
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