Piers Morgan leaves ITV’s Good Morning Britain

Ofcom starts investigation into Monday’s episode of GMB after receiving over 40k complaints

Piers Morgan walked off the ITV Good Morning Britain set after co-presenter Alex Beresford condemned Piers' treatment of Meghan Markle in the previous day's show. Video: ITV / Good Morning Britain

 

ITV says it has accepted Piers Morgan’s decision to leave Good Morning Britain, in a short statement.

The statement said: “Following discussions with ITV, Piers Morgan has decided now is the time to leave Good Morning Britain.

“ITV has accepted this decision and has nothing further to add.”

Earlier, Britain’s media regulator said it was starting an investigation into Monday’s episode of Good Morning Britain after receiving complaints about comments made by presenter Piers Morgan in the wake of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Mr Morgan’s criticism of Meghan had become more vociferous in the wake of the interview.

“We have launched an investigation into Monday’s episode of Good Morning Britain under our harm and offence rules,” regulator Ofcom said in a statement.

It said that as of 2pm on Tuesday it had received 41,015 complaints about comments made by Morgan on the breakfast show, which he anchors and is broadcast by ITV.

The presenter stormed off the set of the news programme on Tuesday following a heated discussion with his colleague, Alex Beresford, about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s TV interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Criticised

Mr Morgan, a former CNN presenter, has long criticised the couple, saying they have damaged the royal family and sought publicity on their own terms without accepting the responsibility and scrutiny that come with the job.

ITV broadcast Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Meghan and Harry on Monday evening in which they revealed the depth of her unhappiness within the royal family.

It attracted more than half of the audience watching live TV at that time, with a peak of 12.4 million viewers, ITV said.

ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall told reporters she had not spoken to Mr Morgan, but that Kevin Lygo, managing director media and entertainment, had.

“I know Kevin Lygo is speaking to him on a regular basis and has done so in the last couple of days,” she said.

Mr Morgan has cast doubt on Meghan’s comments in the interview. When his co-presenter noted that Meghan had said she’d been driven to the verge of taking her own life, Mr Morgan replied: “She says that, yes.”

Comments

McCall, who was presenting ITV’s full-year results, said Mr Morgan had “qualified” his earlier comments.

Mr Morgan said on Tuesday: “I still have serious concerns about the veracity of a lot of what she said, but let me just state for the record about my position on mental illness and on suicide.

“They should be taken extremely seriously and if someone is feeling that way they should get the treatment and help that they need every time, and if they belong to an institution like the royal family and they go and seek that help they should absolutely be given it,” he said.

McCall said Mr Morgan was a freelance presenter and ITV had no control over his Twitter account, which has 7.7 million followers.

“He’s got personal profile on Twitter, it’s his personal account,” she said. “If it was about our shows, that would be different.”

ITV reportedly paid €1.16 million (£1 million) to broadcast the interview, which was shown in the United States on Sunday.