Who is Alastair Campbell? What you need to know about the Yorkshire-born former spin doctor who is replacing Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain this week

Alastair Campbell is co-presenting Good Morning Britain for three days this week, following the departure of Piers Morgan.

Alastair Campbell

The former spin doctor, who helped Labour rise to power in the later 1990s after becoming Tony Blair’s right-hand man, will be a guest presenter alongside Susanna Reid until Wednesday.

It comes after Mr Morgan quit the popular ITV show in March, amid wide-spread criticism for accusing Meghan Markle of lying about her mental health struggles.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Where is Alastair Campbell from?

Mr Campbell, who is the son of vet Donald Campbell and his wife Elizabeth, was born in Keighley in 1957 and claims to have many fond memories of the town.

He lived there for the first 11 years of his life and attended Bradford Grammar School, before his family moved to Leicester in 1968.

After finishing school, he attended Cambridge University and graduated in 1979 with a degree in modern languages.

Mr Campbell said he went busking around the world with bagpipes before he became a journalist, working at local papers in the West Country.

In 1982, he joined the Mirror and eventually became Political Editor and the paper’s Chief Political Columnist, but in 1994 he decided to become Press Secretary for Labour Party leader Tony Blair.

Alastair Campbell and New Labour

Mr Campbell has been credited for coining the phrase ‘New Labour’ and Mr Blair has said he was influential in helping the party claim a landslide General Election victory in 1997.

After working as the Prime Minister’s Chief Press Secretary and Official Spokesman, he was seconded to NATO in 1999 to oversee communications during the Kosovo conflict.

When Labour were re-elected in 2001, he became Director of Communications and Strategy and he held that role until he resigned in September 2003.

Mr Campbell said he stepped down to spend more time with his family and his resignation was not related to the Hutton inquiry into the death of government weapons expert Dr David Kelly, who was found dead after he was outed as the source for a BBC report on the Iraq War dossier.

The Labour spin doctor had been accused of embellishing the dossier, which outlined concerns about Saddam Hussein possessing weapons of mass destruction, but he was cleared by the inquiry.

Life after Labour

Since leaving Downing Street, the father-of-three has been a prolific writer, producing Sunday Times bestseller The Blair Years, eight volumes of memoirs, several novels and books which recount his long-standing struggles with depression and alcoholism.

He has made several documentaries for the BBC on his mental health struggles, including Cracking Up, which looks back at his mental breakdown in 1986, and Depression and Me.

Mr Campbell, who lives in London with his wife Fiona, became editor-at-large of a pro-EU weekly newspaper, called The New European, in 2017.

He also writes a monthly interview for GQ magazine, having previously spoken to the likes of Prince William and Al Gore, produces sports features for several national publications and co-hosts a weekly podcast with his daughter Grace called Football, Feminism and Everything in Between.