These breakfast telly folk really are hard as nails.
Despite ungodly hour wake-up calls, they’re fresh, switched-on, professional and polite.
Although Piers does revel in telling us he’s been up since 4am several times during our photoshoot.
We meet TV’s most dysfunctional pretend married couple at the set of Good Morning Britain, the show where they (alongside Charlotte Hawkins, Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard) bring in 1 million viewers every day.
Both top journalists in their own right, their very different interview techniques (Susanna: firm but fair; Piers: so opinionated it’s often like a freight train hurtling at top speed) create the chemistry and banter the nation loves to watch.
They’re together practically every day, so putting the teasing to one side, it’s obvious the couple have some – albeit reluctant – affection for one another.
They spend the morning laughing (Ms Reid very keen to push him around during our shoot), and despite Piers’ foghorn mouth, Susanna isn’t afraid to stand up to him.
She regularly scolds him throughout our chat for not answering our questions properly.
They have seven kids between them (Piers has Albert, Stanley and Spencer with ex-wife Marion and Elsie with current wife Celia; Susanna has Sam, Jack and Finn with ex-husband Dominic), Good Morning Britain to host, they both regularly sit down with serial killers, while Piers also has his Life Stories, and now the duo are managing rival teams in the upcoming Soccer Aid match.
And if there’s one thing these two enjoy, it’s a bit of healthy competition…
Has there always been a friendly rivalry between you?
Susanna: There’s nothing friendly about it.
Piers: It’s very real and it was much worse when we first met.
Where did you first meet?
P: I first met Susanna at a party.
I said, ‘The trouble with your show is that you need a slightly older bloke giving you a hard time.’
S: He said, ‘What you need to transform your show, is me.’
P: Well, look at the ratings, baby, and keep grinning.
What were your first impressions of each other?
P: Pretty nightmareish, to be honest.
S: I thought he was arrogant and boring.
P: Stroppy little queen bee marching around like she runs the place.
S: He kept telling me how he’d come from a huge CNN show in America.
Erm, no one knew who he was.
P: How about you and me walk through Times Square for an hour and see how you get on?
Unless you bump into somebody from Croydon, nobody’s going to know who the f**k you are.
You spend a lot of time together, what are the other’s best and worst qualities?
P: It’s an arranged marriage without any of the good bits.
I just get the nagging.
S: Piers’ worst quality is that he will not stop talking, he takes up 95% of the air time.
When he starts unravelling on air, I wipe my hands of him.
P: The ratings have stratospherically soared since I did all the talking.
So what the pubic really want is more of me.
S: His best quality is he’s like a Rottweiler and he won’t let go.
He will go on about a point until you get either an answer, or a disgraced politician.
P: Her best and worst qualities are the same thing.
That she’s a softie who likes a weep.
S: Basically I have a heart and soul.
There’s some suggestion the chemistry comes from you two having a crush on each other…
S: Piers would like you to think I fancy him.
P: I’ve heard the rumours.
I think I started them.
But for her to insist to such an insane level that she doesn’t fancy me, suggests she does.
S: I can’t even respond to that.
How would the two of you function as a married couple?
P: She’s such a control freak, it would be utter hell.
Because I’m the opposite of that.
As long as I’m in charge.
S: I feel sorry for his wife Celia every day.
I think she’s grateful that I have him in my care for a few hours in the morning, so she gets a break.
Susanna, do the public sympathise with you spending so much time with Piers?
S: All the time.
They say, ‘It’s amazing you haven’t throttled him.’
I tell them I’d never dream of being physically violent towards him.
It hasn’t ever occurred to me.
P: I can assure you she regularly thinks about this.
Piers, what kind of reception do you get from the public?
You’ve been verbally assaulted on a number of occasions.
P: Once or twice.
But people love having a laugh with me.
Plus, I’m 6ft 1in and can pack a punch.
Once someone swore at me under his breath and I went over and got right in his face saying, ‘F***ing tell me to my face’ and everyone was pouring out of shops backing me up.
S: This is a much more dramatic version than what you told me.
What’s the biggest thing you disagree on?
P: I’m tough and she is soft.
I grew up with strong women who deal with things in a strong way.
If I wallowed too much, my grandma would kick me into shape.
What I’m sad about in today’s society is that you’re not allowed to be like that.
You can’t ‘man up’.
You have to be helped with everything.
But I think you have to help yourself and be tougher.
S: I don’t think people are wallowing when they get knocked down.
I think expressing your weakness can also be a strength and telling people that they need to be strong all the time can be quite oppressive.
P: I’ll talk to my kids for hours if needs be and they need advice.
But ultimately, the message I give them is ‘Half the world is starving’.
S: See, I don’t think that’s a terribly helpful thing to say.
If you’re struggling with your own problems, it instantly diminishes your problem.
P: If you are clinically depressed, I get it.
If you’re just stressed about normal things everyone goes through, you need to be strong.
We’re a family of non-blubbers.
It’s about perspective.
Both of you interview some of the most intimidating criminals alive, has that changed your perspective on things?
P: It’s just taught me that there’s a limit on using what has happened to you as an excuse.
There are lots of people who come from dire upbringings who don’t end up killing anyone.
S: It flicks a switch in some people.
P: But my father died when I was one.
Life throws a lot of curveballs, and grim stuff happens to everybody.
That’s what life is.
Unless you’re inherently evil, there is no excuse.
S: I don’t believe there is an inherent evil in people.
P: What about Hitler?
S: We can probably agree on Adolf Hitler.
P: The only thing we’ve ever agreed on in our lives – that Hitler was a bad person.
Have you ever been intimidated by anyone you’ve interviewed?
S: Never any celebrities.
I’ve waited hours and hours for a celebrity before because her entourage were making sure the temperature of the room was perfect.
P: The bigger the star, the less of an a*se they are.
I once saw Tom Hanks in a cafe after I’d interviewed him and he sat down and had a sandwich and a 90-minute chat with me.
Then you have people from EastEnders behaving appallingly.
We always treat people as we find them.
If they want to be d*cks, like Andrew Ridgeley when he came on, I’m very happy to go for them.
Tell us a secret about the other…
S: Piers is a diva.
Every morning he demands his newspapers ready for him and he has to have a hot banana sandwich during the show.
P: All this ‘I don’t drink’ stuff Susanna says isn’t true.
Trust me, you want to go on a bender with her, because when she falls off the wagon, my God it’s spectacular.
Do you ever miss each other?
She misses me, she texts me if I’m away too much.
I just think, ‘Why are you bothering me?’
S: Over the summer when we have time off I find it really weird that we’re just supposed to pick up where we left off.
So I prepare the ground with a few texts.
P: Well, I want another bender, so I hope to f*** by the end of the summer holidays you’re drinking again, because it’s so boring when you don’t.
S: By the end of the summer I’ll be 100% vegan.
P: A non-drinking vegan, just what you want to be married to.
S: Well, thank God we’re not married.
It’s Soccer Aid time, and this year Susanna will be managing England, while Piers manages the rest of the world.
Let the games begin…
What do you bring to the table as football managers?
P: She’ll want them all crying and hugging each other.
I hate hugs.
S: Ironic, as you’re always trying to hug me.
But I’ll be motivating my team with thoughts of success and the fact it’s for charity and we must embrace it and enjoy it.
P: Soft as marshmallows.
I’ll be shouting at the pros.
Telling Usain Bolt to run faster.
Who’s more confident for a win?
P: I’m totally confident.
Susanna is too nice to be a football manger.
You have to be ruthless and mean and want to win at all costs.
Any advice for each other on the day?
P: She’ll be too busy nursing wounded men and weeping with them.
My advice would be stop that and instead scream at them to score more goals.
– Piers Morgan’s Life Stories airs 9:35 on ITV, June 8.
– Watch Soccer Aid live on ITV, June 16, from 6:30pm.