John Cleese tells ITV's Ed Balls to 'shut up' over childish jibes towards GB News

John Cleese tells ITV's Ed Balls to 'shut up' over childish jibes towards GB News

WATCH NOW: John Cleese tells Ed Balls to 'shut up' on GMB

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 10/10/2023

- 14:40

Updated: 10/10/2023

- 15:15

The GB News presenter put Good Morning Britain's Ed Balls in his place on Tuesday morning

Comedy legend and GB News star John Cleese had the perfect response to a long line of petulant jibes from ITV presenter Ed Balls.

Cleese joined Balls and Susanna Reid on Tuesday's Good Morning Britain to discuss his upcoming GB News show, The Dinosaur Hour, which begins on Sunday, October 29.

But during the chat, Balls continually spoke over the top of Cleese who, despite his patience and professionalism, had to tell the former Labour MP to "shut up".

The moment came after Cleese had delved into the explanation behind his new GB News show's name: "Well, a dinosaur is somebody completely out of touch -"

"Is it for dinosaurs by dinosaurs and with dinosaurs?" Balls interrupted, to which Cleese replied: "All, all. It's for people who are deeply out of touch -"

"Stephen Fry agreed to be a dinosaur?" Balls interjected again as Cleese kept his composure and answered: "Oh yes, lots of people are happy to be dinosaurs because it's hard to understand what's going on at the moment.

"Whereas if you're a dinosaur, you have no chance of understanding it at all," Cleese surmised. "So this is a huge demographic, you know.

John Cleese with Ed Balls and Susanna Reid on GMB

John Cleese with Ed Balls and Susanna Reid on GMB


"We're gonna get people of course who are out of touch because they want to be out of touch but also people who are out of touch and have no idea they're out of touch."

Balls remarked it was like "the extinct of the world united", as Cleese humoured him: "That's right, going to have a massive amount of happy dinosaurs on Sunday night the 29th of October."

"On GB News..." Balls commented open-endedly before Cleese remarked: "GB News, yes! Well, they made me, Ed, the best offer anyone has ever made anyone in television -"

Cutting Cleese off once again, Balls decided to mock the recent outgoings among the People's Channel's on-screen staff which has seen GB News end its employment relationship with Laurence Fox and Calvin Robinson.

Fox and Robinson's departure came as a result of an internal investigation following suspensions in the fallout of Fox's on-screen rant on Dan Wootton Tonight about a female journalist. Wootton remains suspended.

Balls teased Cleese about this as he quipped: "You're the only presenter joining them, rather than leaving at the moment."

"Well, they do believe in free speech which -" Cleese tried to answer but a persistent Balls smirked as he cut in: "Get the old blood out and the new blood in."

Cleese had clearly grown tired of Balls' antics as he slapped back: "Will you shut up?!"

Balls and Reid laughed at the GB News star's reaction before Reid conceded her co-host's manner was questionable: "Well, yeah, you ask him the question and then talk over the answer."

"He's getting another question in," Cleese teased. "If you'd like to tell me which one you'd like me to answer, I'll happily (answer it)."

Elsewhere in the conversation, Reid asked Cleese why he considered the offer to make a show on GB News the "best ever".

Dismissing the suggestion it was down to financial gain, Cleese explained: "No, not financially. They came to me and said, 'Would you like to make 10 programmes? You can do anything that you like!'

WATCH NOW: John Cleese's The Dinosaur Hour trailer 

"I mean, nobody's ever said that to anyone because most television executives, as you both know well, have no idea what they're doing but they want to control things."

Both Balls and Reid let out a nervous laugh before Cleese delved into his history in the industry: "But my experience was, while there were very few exceptions at the BBC about 40 years ago, they don't know what they're doing.

"They want to control everything and they don't trust the talent, so the moment they get someone, the talent, and they say, 'What sort of show are you going to do?' And they want to make lots of suggestions.

"They will say, 'Well we want to know what we're getting', and I'll say, 'Well, you're getting me but if you don't trust me, don't hire me.'

"But they try to control everything and that is why television comedy is in such a dire state at the moment.

John Cleese

John Cleese discussed The Dinosaur Hour on Tuesday's GMB


"The young comedians tell me how hard it is to get anything accepted because it's all committees, the BBC is now run like a bureaucracy and that's not good for nurturing talent."

Cleese's GB News show is set to be a triumph when it gets underway later this month with the legendary comic already bagging a number of big names to take part.

The Dinosaur Hour boasts the likes of Stephen Fry, Caitlyn Jenner, Tim Rice, Trevor McDonald, and many more as Cleese's A-list guests.

Cleese followed in the footsteps of a number of GB News stars who took to GMB and dismantled criticism levelled the People's Channel's way.

Michelle Dewberry faced a grilling from a "biased" panel during her appearance on the show last month while Nigel Farage expressed how "proud" he was to be a part of the channel when Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard put him on the spot.

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