Lorraine Kelly has lifted the lid on her long-rumoured feud with former daytime TV colleague turned Conservative MP Esther McVey – and insists her rival was "never promoted".
The 60-year-old chat show host found herself at the centre of a Twitter storm in June this year when a clip of her appearing to snub the politician during a live link went viral.
It happened when Good Morning Britain hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid went live to Lorraine in her studio for their usual handover, and asked what she had coming up in her show.
Susanna then asked if Lorraine remembered Esther – who had just been interviewed on GMB – from their shared GMTV days in the late 1990s.
A curt Lorraine told the camera: "Yep. Yes I do. Right, coming up after half past eight…"
Esther, who at that point was still in the Conservative leadership race, later addressed the awkward moment, implying Lorraine had been jealous when she got promoted.
"We used to share a dressing room," she told reporters, "And she used to be on the programme afterwards, and obviously she used to be partnered with Eamonn Holmes. And then I was promoted to be partnering with Eamonn Holmes.
"But she's great and it was a great show, and I can't believe it was 20 years ago, but never mind, it was really good at the time, really good fun."
Days later, Lorraine took another dig when she said McVey had misremembered their shared past.
"There is no battle," she laughed to Piers.
"I'm baffled, because I had my own show since 1992, and I don't actually think she joined until five years later.
"And as far as sharing dressing rooms go, it wasn't really like that, it's not palatial like it is now… it was just a little room that everybody sort of shared that we got ready in," she went on at the time.
"I'll be genuinely honest, I don't remember her being… it was such a long time ago. My show was totally separate from that show so there was no interaction to be honest."
She then took aim at McVey's anti-LGBT voting record, adding: "Yesterday, Piers, I'll be honest with you, I just got sick to the back teeth of the whole toxic political atmosphere.
"I strongly disagree with her on LGBT rights, I just thought, I've had enough of this, we've had two-and-a-half years of going round in circles and not sorting Brexit out, and now we've got a state in Britain where people are at each other's throats, and it's got to stop."
But Lorraine has still not quite managed to put those feud rumours to bed, telling today's Mail On Sunday You magazine that McVey got her "look" because she was fed up of the Brexit chat.
"You know what that was, I'd been sitting on the sofa, reading all the Brexit nonsense and literally shaking my head about how appalling our politicians were, then I look into the monitor and see one of them sitting there," she said.
"I thought: 'I just can't be bothered with any of you.' She was never promoted; I don't even think we shared a dressing room. But why should we be surprised at that of a politician? That is now very sadly to be expected."
Lorraine went on: "I then heard the whole station was accused of being a Labour cabal, which made me laugh.
"She did get my 'look', which very few people are on the receiving end of. But there is a look."
McVey didn't only face Lorraine's wrath for her mistaken recollection of the past – her former GMTV colleague Fiona Phillips also waded in , saying the MP had "lied" about getting promoted and had only been on the show to cover Fiona's maternity leave.
And McVey's own ex-agent dubbed her a "showbiz pariah" , adding "few people liked" her during her presenting days.
"She was widely perceived as the girl who took someone else's job from under their nose. Worse than that, she exuded the same lack of warmth that, to me, has characterised her political career," Jon Roseman wrote in the Mail
"Esther had no empathy."
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