Piers Morgan’s Uncensored TV show moves from TalkTV to YouTube

Morgan said daily, fixed TV schedules have been ‘an increasingly unnecessary straitjacket’

Athena Stavrou
Friday 09 February 2024 09:58 GMT
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Rishi Sunak defends £1000 bet with Piers Morgan over Rwanda policy

Piers Morgan has announced he is quitting his daily evening show on TalkTV to focus on his YouTube channel.

The 58-year-old said he was moving his 8pm show, launched less than two years ago, onto YouTube to avoid the “ increasingly unnecessary straitjacket” of fixed TV schedules.

He told The Times: “It’s clear there’s a huge global demand for the content we’re making.”

He added: “The commitment to a daily show at a fixed schedule… has been an increasingly unnecessary straitjacket.”

Referencing his recent interview with Rishi Sunak, where he challenged the prime minister to a £1,000 bet on the fate of his Rwanda plan, he told the paper: “Had we waited until 8pm to air it first on TalkTV it would have been overtaken by the breaking news of King Charles’s cancer diagnosis.”

He also criticised the owners of TalkTV as having a “start-up mentality” and added that the switch to YouTube would allow longer interviews with bigger names - but vowed to keep the show “uncensored”.

The former reality TV judge added: “PMU (Piers Morgan Uncensored) has always had a start-up mentality and this decision to now take ourselves fully digital reflects the reality of where our audience is and where we need to be singularly focused.

“It will make perfect sense to anyone who understands the way modern media – especially TV – is going, and no sense to dinosaurs stuck in their blinkered old ways.

“One thing won’t change though: I’ll keep it uncensored.”

Referencing his recent interview with Mr Sunak, where the pair appeared to make a £1,000 bet on the fate of the prime minister’s Rwanda plan

The Piers Morgan Uncensored YouTube channel has built up a huge audience of 2.35 million subscribers since 2022, and his high-profile interview with the prime minister quickly gained nearly 400,000 views since being posted on Monday.

In his interview with The Times, he cited American podcast host Joe Rogan as a motivation for the change.

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“People are watching the content on YouTube rather than conventional television and I have no problem with that,” Morgan told the paper. “You can’t defy audiences or tell them how they should be consuming.”

Scott Taunton, executive vice president of broadcasting for News UK, said: “Piers Morgan Uncensored’s newsmaking interviews and debates are attracting millions of views online.“It is the right decision for PMU to go digital-first, freeing him from a scheduled show so he can create the right content to grow his already huge global online audience.”

Uncensored launched in 2022 with an “explosive” interview with its first guest, former American president Donald Trump, and formed part of the primetime launch of TalkTV, a venture from News UK which publishes The Times and The Sun.

Other headline-making interviews from Morgan include the November 2022 sit-down with Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, the full version of which has had nearly six million views.

The sports star opened up about the death of his newborn son, telling Morgan it was “the most difficult moment that I have had in my life”.

His move to TalkTV was catalysed as Morgan made headlines in 2021, after leaving ITV breakfast show Good Morning Britain following an on-air clash with weather presenter Alex Beresford over the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Morgan said he did not believe Meghan’s claims from the headline-making special, with his comments sparking more than 50,000 complaints, the most in Ofcom’s history.

The watchdog later ruled Good Morning Britain was not in breach of the broadcasting code over Morgan’s comments.

In 1994, aged 29, he was appointed as the editor of the News of the World by Rupert Murdoch and he went on to edit the Daily Mirror from 1995 to 2004.

He appeared as a judge on America’s Got Talent in the US in 2006, and also won the US celebrity version of The Apprentice in 2008, during which he appeared alongside Mr Trump and later landed his own show in the country on CNN, titled Piers Morgan Live.

The programme, which regularly featured lively debates on topics such as gun control, ran from 2011 until 2014.

Morgan told news website Semafor of the move to YouTube: “The frustration for me has been continuing to create a TV-format show when that’s not how 95% of my audience is watching it.”

Some interviews will still be shown on TalkTV while a replacement in the schedules is found, The Times reported.

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