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Piers Morgan’s comments on Meghan and Harry interview trigger record 57,000 Ofcom complaints

Joe Middleton
Wednesday 17 March 2021 19:05 GMT
Meghan slammed by Piers Morgan for 'trashing' Royal family in Oprah interview
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Piers Morgan’s comments about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Oprah Winfrey have yielded the highest number of Ofcom complaints in the TV regulator’s history.

Mr Morgan said on ITV’s Good Morning Britain he “didn’t believe a word” of what Meghan had told the US chat show host about her struggles with mental health, prompting 57,121 complaints for shows on 8 and 9 March.

The often-controversial presenter left the show shortly after his comments as Ofcom launched an investigation under its harm and offence rules.

It later transpired that the Duchess had also lodged her own complaint with the regulator about Mr Morgan’s response to the interview, in which she spoke of having felt suicidal.

She also claimed she was not supported by the royal family and said an unnamed person within Buckingham Palace had expressed “concern” over her unborn son Archie’s skin colour.

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Mr Morgan, who presented GMB for six years and was previously editor of the Daily Mirror, said: “I’m sorry, I don’t believe a word she says. I wouldn’t believe her if she read me a weather report.”

He added that she had sparked an “onslaught” against the royal family and, “trashed everything the Queen has worked so hard to maintain”.

His views caused widespread outrage and were strongly rebuked by mental health charity Mind, who said they were “disappointed and concerned” by the comments.

Mr Morgan stormed off the set after a heated exchange with weather presenter Alex Beresford, who accused him of “trashing” Meghan.

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The divisive presenter has stood by his controversial comments and said his departure from GMB was caused by the “cancel culture that is permeating our country”.

The complaints about his comments far exceed those made about about Celebrity Big Brother in 2018 when ex-Emmerdale actress Roxanne Pallett alleged she had been assaulted by fellow housemate Ryan Thomas, which prompted 25,327 complaints.

It also exceeds the 24,500 complaints Ofcom received about Diversity’s performance on Britain’s Got Talent last year, which was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.

A controversy with Shilpa Shetty on Celebrity Big Brother in 2007 was previously the most complained about issue, attracting 44,500 complaints.

Additional reporting by PA

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