It’s been a hectic 24 hours, with Piers Morgan quitting ITV’s Good Morning Britain shortly after he stormed off the set amid a clash over Meghan Markle.
On Tuesday evening (9 March), ITV announced that Morgan was stepping down as anchor of the morning show after six years.
The presenter’s departure came after both he and ITV attracted widespread criticism over comments he made about the Duchess of Sussex following her tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, including that he “didn’t believe a word” she said about having suicidal thoughts during her time as a senior royal.
GMB’s Alex Beresford, with whom Morgan had a heated debate with during Tuesday’s show (9 March) prior to the announcement of his exit that evening, has said that “Piers’ departure sincerely wasn’t the conclusion I was hoping for”.
The weatherman added: “I didn’t want him to quit, but I did want him to listen.”
Morgan’s exit has prompted a mixed reaction from viewers with many people celebrating the presenter’s departure. However, an online petition urging ITV to reinstate Morgan in his position as co-anchor of GMB has reached over 22,000 signatures in just two days.
Sharon Osbourne has also spoken out in support of Morgan. During an appearance onThis Show yesterday (10 March), the former X-Factor judge tearfully defended the controversial presenter.
Others celebrities, however, have welcomed the news. Chelsea Handler recently shared a clip from a 2014 interview with Morgan, in which the pair engage in a heated conversation. The American comedian captioned it: “Some a**holes get better, some just stay the same.”
Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom received more than 41,000 complaints after Morgan claimed he did not believe that Markle had suffered from suicidal thoughts after being overwhelmed by press scrutiny into her personal life. ITV was also widely criticised for “allowing” Morgan to air these views while running their Britain Get Talking mental health campaign.
Following the backlash, Morgan later said he wanted to “clarify his position on mental health”. He added that his “disbelief” was over her claims that “she went to a senior member of the royal household, told them she was suicidal and was told she could not have any help because it would be a bad look for the family”.
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Yesterday morning (10 March), GMB returned to screens without Morgan in his usual seat for the first time. Speaking about his decision, the 55-year-old revealed he is “in talks” regarding his presenting future, adding: “I’ll be back”.
You can relive all of the dramatic moments from the last 24 hours below, as well as some of the major talking points so far.
- Susanna Reid addresses Piers Morgan’s exit for the first time live on GMB
- ‘Your tears are weapons’: Sharon Osbourne criticised for tearful defence of Piers Morgan on The Talk
- Chelsea Handler calls out Piers Morgan in resurfaced video: ‘Some a**holes stay the same’
- ITV lost £300m in market value after Piers Morgan’s departure from GMB
Morning all, we will be live blogging Good Morning Britain today following Piers Morgan’s surprise departure from the show. Be sure to tune in for updates!
This morning’s show is being presented by Susanna Reid and Ranvir Singh.
Reid opened the show by addressing Morgan’s departure, calling him an ‘outspoken, challenging, opinionated, disruptive broadcaster’.
Read her full speech here.
‘He is without a doubt an outspoken, challenging, opinionated, disruptive broadcaster,’ said Reid
Morgan’s departure is being discussed on the show right now, with guests saying that the presenter “isn’t always right” and could have been a lot “more sensitive” when discussing Meghan’s mental health.
“We’ll never forget you, Piers Morgan,” former Daily Mirror associate editor Kevin Maguire said, praising Morgan for his work holding the government to account over the coronavirus crisis.
However, Maguire said that Morgan “got it wrong” regarding Meghan and discussions about race.
Susanna Reid says “the show must go on” without Morgan.
The pair had presented the show together for more than five years.
“It’s a very different programme this morning,” Reid told the audience, with Singh asking the presenter how she felt this morning.
“His departure is one of the reverberations that has come from this interview, Harry and Meghan,” Reid replied.
Morgan has tweeted for the first time since his departure this morning, saying that he still doesn’t believe Meghan Markle’s comments as he shared a Winston Churchill quote about free speech on Twitter.
Meghan Markle’s former Suits co-star Patrick J Adams – who Morgan angrily lashed out at for defending the Duchess and criticising the royal family – has tweeted about the presenter’s departure from Good Morning Britain.
“Cry not for @piersmorgan - there are plenty of bridges for him to find work under,” he tweeted, signing off: “Sincerely, the ‘jumped up twerp’.”
However, another Suits actor, Wendell Pierce, has criticised the interview and called it “irrelevant”. Read his full comments here.
Lorraine Kelly has made an appearance, joking that it will be “a lot quieter and a lot calmer” without Morgan around, but that the presenter will be missed.
She also said that the presenter had been a “very loyal friend” to him.
Sharon Osbourne is among the stars supporting Morgan following his departure from Good Morning Britain.
“I am with you. I stand by you,” she wrote. “People forget that you’re paid for your opinion and you’re just speaking your truth.”
Morgan has stepped down from his role as anchor amid controversy over Meghan Markle comments
Gary Lineker has also posted in support for the presenter.
However, viewers are celebrating seeing two women, Susanna Reid and Ranvir Singh, present GMB.
Many are calling for Singh, who is the show’s political editor, to permanently replace Morgan.
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