A 24-hour strike by ITV staff is affecting a range of TV favourites including Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Good Morning Britain and Have I Got News For You.
Money expert Martin Lewis was among the journalists who stayed away, missing his regular Deals of the Week section this morning on Good Morning Britain.
As he explained on Twitter:
GMB presenter Susanna Reid was another no-show this morning, although an ITV spokesman said this was because she had a pre-planned day off.
The shooting schedule of soap operas Emmerdale and Coronation Street has also been hit with no filming taking place today.
However, an ITV spokesman said the productions were confident they would make up the time.
“There are occasions when we take the decision to delay filming on our soaps and we have chosen to do so on May 14th following the strike ballot,” said the spokesman. “It is certainly not unusual to periodically reschedule production and catch up at a later date.
“As we have said previously, our programmes will continue to be broadcast on Thursday and viewers will be unaffected by this day of industrial action.”
In addition, BBC1 panel show Have I Got News for You, which is filmed at ITV-owned London Studios, will not record tonight as scheduled. Instead the show, which airs on Friday night, will be filmed tomorrow on the day of broadcast [Friday morning]. The show was shot on Friday morning last week too, in order to take in the results of Thursday’s General Election.
The strike was called after members of the technicians’ union Bectu and the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) voted in favour of industrial action by 67% and 77% in protest at a 2% pay award.
Unions have been pressing for a bigger wage increases in view of the TV company’s profits.
A protest will be held outside ITV’s annual meeting in London, including plans to feature a Simon Cowell “lookalike”.
Bectu general secretary Gerry Morrissey said that staff were “very unhappy” with the pay offer and has complained about bonus packages being offered to executives and what he regards as large shareholder dividends.