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Piers and Dan routinely square up on Twitter, trading cruel blows to one another as they bid to win viewers to their respective morning news programmes. The verbal spats are played out in public, with thousands of people responding to the pair in support or anger at their messages. But last year, Susanna – who shares her morning role with Piers – lashed out by claiming she “would never speak about a colleague like that”.
Instead she aimed to make sure that rivals supported each other – especially female colleagues – because “women have been smashing their way through the glass ceiling for decades”.
Writing in her MailOnline column, Susanna took aim at the way women are perceived within the media industry.
She wrote: “Enough! I’m sick of female TV stars being portrayed as nasty, snide and competitive.
“I’ll admit I was intrigued, when Apple TV’s new drama ‘The Morning Show’ launched at the weekend, to see my job portrayed by one of my favourite actresses.
“But how my heart sank as it became clear that the show relies on the well-worn cliché of pitching Jennifer Aniston’s Queen Bee anchor — Alex — against Reese Witherspoon’s younger, perkier reporter, Bradley.”
However, the former BBC Breakfast star then criticised Piers and former colleague Dan for the animosity shared between them.
She added: “In my experience, there is more rivalry between male counterparts.
“Take ITV’s Piers Morgan and Dan Walker, his BBC Breakfast double. The way they snipe at each other on Twitter makes me shudder. I would never speak about a colleague like that.
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“Women have been smashing their way through the glass ceiling for decades after all — now we’ve got there, we don’t see the point in tearing each other down.
“Men, on the other hand, seem to get away with it because they see no shame in publicly bashing each other, then passing it off as ‘banter’ not bitchiness. Yet somehow, the myth endures that it’s women who are the catty ones.
“Sorry to disappoint, folks — this hackneyed old theme is not one I recognise. Of course, there is friendly rivalry, but we have each other’s backs.”
Her comments angered Dan, who took to social media – again – to defend his actions online.
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Dan added: “I understand that columns for this newspaper need to be provocative but I humbly suggest you talk to @louiseminchin @BBCNaga @stephbreakfast @carolkirkwood @mikebreakfast @sallynugent – or anyone I work with – before suggesting I ever put colleagues down or am not supportive.”
Susanna is one of the country’s most popular newsreaders and in March, 2014, she collected the Television and Radio Industries Club’s Newsreader of the Year.
The award came just a week before she was due to join ITV and ‘Good Morning Britain’.
She also cemented her place in the nation’s heart by finishing as a runner up on the BBC hit show ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.
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