Daybreak presenter Adrian Chiles has admitted he was "completely wrong" in assuming his breakfast show was going to be an immediate runaway success.
The ITV programme has suffered from disappointing viewing figures, with presenters Chiles and Christine Bleakley facing personal criticism.
Chiles said he had tried being positive about the show at first but would never be so optimistic again.
In a frank and soul-baring interview, he told The Guardian: "I'd been saying to Christine for two or three years we should do a breakfast show together, the time is right to do a breakfast show.
"I was absolutely sure. And I was completely wrong."
Both presenters thought the first show had gone "OK", they said. But, added Chiles, "we woke up in the morning and found out that, far from being OK, it was actually one of the biggest crocks of s***e anyone had seen in years."
Figures released last month revealed the programme's audience had sunk to a new low, drawing just half a million viewers.
They are understood to have picked up since then, but Adrian confessed he was stung by the harsh criticism levelled at him and Bleakley.
Reading that he was "the ugliest man that's ever presented a programme" and that the show was the worst thing anyone has seen meant that when people accused him of being grumpy, he was grumpy for a reason, he said.
Bleakley insisted she had been cautious before the show first aired, aware that success was not a given.