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Great Britain

Fury as ITV hand Charlotte Hawkins GMB slot over ethnic minority presenters Ranvir Singh & Sean Fletcher

RACE ROW

A RACE row has divided staff on ITV breakfast show Good Morning Britain over its new early-morning host.

Some are furious that news presenter Charlotte Hawkins, 44, is about to be handed her own 30-minute slot from 6am before main hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid take up the reins.

They believe the role should be given to a BAME presenter such as Ranvir Singh or Sean Fletcher, who have both been significantly demoted in recent months. The programme — along with This Morning from 10am — will have its running time extended by half an hour to fill the void left by the axing of The Jeremy Kyle Show.

Morgan and Reid will be followed at 9am by Lorraine Kelly, who will hand over to Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on This Morning.

ITV has faced criticism of its often all-white daytime line-up, other than ITV Lunchtime News host Nina Hossain.

An ITV insider said: “The plan is to give Charlotte her own half hour, but that’s caused uproar from staff concerned about diversity — especially because Ranvir and Sean would be the other two options.

“They are both BAME and were both unfairly demoted by bosses, which has left a bitter taste.

“This is nothing personal against Charlotte, who is a lovely lady and well liked. But she already has a job as newsreader.”

Some insiders suggested ITV pair Charlotte with a BAME presenter.

A spokeswoman for the broadcaster yesterday said: “We will announce our plans in due course.”

GMB's Sean Fletcher accuses Tory MP James Cleverly of 'selling out' for defending Desmond Swayne over blackface row

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