On Tuesday morning, Dan interviewed the health secretary about the coronavirus crisis on BBC Breakfast, in light of the fact that Leicester is to face more severe lockdown measures following a significant rise in cases.
During the interview, Hancock suggested it was not “meaningful data” to reveal how many people were now being tested for coronavirus, which sparked anger from Piers and Susanna Reid as they reacted live on Good Morning Britain.
“What are you talking about, Health Secretary?” Piers fumed after watching the interview. “What could be a more important bit of data than how many people are being tested? What could possibly be more important?”
Addressing the apparent ban on government ministers being interviewed on GMB, he continued: “What could it possibly mean, the number of people being tested is meaningless? I wish I could ask him, but…”
Piers added: “There couldn’t be anything more significant or meaningful than knowing how many people are being tested. And for the health secretary to get away with that blather on the BBC is utterly shocking.”
The row then spilled over to Twitter, after Dan defended himself from critics who suggested he didn’t challenge Hancock enough during their exchange.
“It is essential that politicians are allowed to speak,” Dan wrote. “The idea (from some) that we, and others, don’t challenge ministers is completely untrue.
“Important to ask questions. Important to press. Important to let you listen.”
Piers then wrote back: “Mate, you blew it. Calm down.”
Addressing his presenting rival directly, Dan tweeted: “Good to see you were watching #BBCBreakfast today... again. Maybe, if you didn’t make every interview about you, you might get a few decent political guests.”
Piers then responded: “You get them because they know they’ll get an ready ride as we sadly saw today…”
The two presenters have had a long-standing – but mostly amicable – feud in the media for the last few years, which has mostly revolved around the ratings of GMB and BBC Breakfast.
However, things kicked up a notch last month, when Dan appeared to take a shot at Piers’ approach to interviewing government ministers about the coronavirus crisis, writing: “It is possible to challenge politicians & and ask difficult questions without shouting, interrupting [and] telling everyone you’re brilliant at holding them to account.”
Good Morning Britain airs every weekday from 6am.