Peter Cardwell is a familiar early-morning face on the ITV magazine show ‘Good Morning Britain’ (GMB) – the latest in the richness of journalistic experiences the former Richhill man has enjoyed.
Variety has been the spice of his GMB life as he talks earnestly into the camera lens. His reports have varied between turning the microscope on David Cameron’s re-election in his Witney (Oxfordshire) constituency and the General Election overall; an in-depth story on domestic violence; and an ‘investigation’ into the controversy surrounding Britain’s Got Talent (BGT) winning dog, the clever Collie ‘Matisse’.
Said Peter, “The Cameron story was a double victory for the PM – he won his own seat comfortably and confounded the pundits with the overall Conservative majority. Obviously he was delighted as we, the Press corps, faced him. Nobody predicted that result.” Peter interviewed notables like William Hague, Nigel Farage and Douglas Alexander during the campaign, with Hague the only one of the trio re-elected.
The domestic violence feature saw him interview “an extremely brave woman who had been through hell and told me a humbling, harrowing story. All our hearts went out to her.”
As for the BGT furore, when a stunt dog was called in to walk the tightrope for ‘Matisse’, the phones went mad and Peter was despatched to deliver a tongue-in-cheek judgement. “It showed me how dogs can evoke passions in the British public!”
He’s on contract with GMB, which he finds “a very happy show” with main presenters Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard and other presenters briefed by various reporters and staff in the wee small hours for the 6-8.30am show.
He works rather unsociable hours – the 12noon to midnight shift or 10pm-9.30am, “but I thoroughly enjoy it”
It’s the latest in a rather eclectic career that started in his teens, with work experience with the Portadown Times.
Since then, the Cambridge graduate (a 2:1 honours degree in history and politics) has moved through Newsnight (BBC2), Question Time (BBC1), Sky News, The Nolan Show, Ulster Television and now GMB.
“I find politics fascinating, especially Northern Ireland, GB and America,” he said. “My greatest experience was covering the Obama election for Newsnight – that was quite something.”
One of his favourite hobbies is Glenavon Football Club where his father Ken – retired principal of Tandragee Primary School – is a director. “But nobody’s perfect!” he laughed. Peter currently lives in Hammersmith, West London.