Richard Arnold has revealed that when he returned to the breakfast show sofa it felt like he had never been away.
The former GMTV presenter thought his early morning days were over when he was left out of the line-up for its replacement Daybreak.
But now, after a two-year break, he is returning to breakfast TV, as Daybreak’s showbiz reporter. And the 42-year-old said returning to his former ITV home for the first time was “extraordinary”.
“When I got here this morning there was a polite round of applause from the newsroom and the boys from the crew are all still here so I got a tremendously warm welcome,” he said.
“Sitting on the sofa and running through bits and bobs with Kate Garraway and John Stapleton, it was almost as if the last two years never happened.”
There certainly don’t seem to be any sour grapes on his side, having stayed in touch with all his friends from the show and kept busy with his other projects.
In fact, he said he was accepting of the situation. “When I left, I drew a line under it. I thought, ‘I’ve been so lucky. I’ve been paid to have a titter in the morning for so long’.
“I’d just turned 40 as well and it all seemed very timely and as if I was starting a new chapter and, if I’m honest, I was quite ready for the break.”
Though he hasn’t missed the early starts (“It’s amazing how quickly you can get used to feeling the warmth of the carpet under your feet at a reasonable hour in the morning”), the live aspect of the job was something he had got used to. “Making live telly every morning is a real buzz. I missed the sport of it all,” he said.
Richard Arnold makes his official return to ITV1’s Daybreak on Monday, June 11.