The big loser in the battle of Television Royalty might be ITV who announced that Good Morning Britain co-host Piers Morgan was leaving the show. Yesterday Morgan stormed off the set after a row with the show’s weatherman and occasional commentator Alex Beresford. Piers Morgan, who has made no secret of his dislike for Meghan Markle ostensibly because she subbed him about five years ago was reacting to the previous night’s airing of the interview Harry and Meghan had given Oprah Winfrey. Meghan revealed she had previously had suicidal thoughts and said a royal family member had raised concerns about the skin tone of her child — prompting Morgan to make a number of comments lampooning the couple.
He said on Twitter on Monday that it was “just another reminder that anyone who criticizes Meghan Markle is deemed a racist bully.”
He also questioned on Monday’s show whether she was being truthful about having suicidal thoughts, comments he has since tried to walk back.
In response to Morgan’s comments Beresford criticized his on-air colleague on live TV.
“I understand that you [Morgan] don’t like Meghan Markle, you’ve made it so clear a number of times on this program,” said “Good Morning Britain” co-host Alex Beresford. “And I understand that you’ve got a personal relationship with Meghan Markle, or had one and she cut you off,” he added.
“Has she said anything about you since she cut you off? I don’t think she has, but yet you continue to trash her,” Beresford said.
At that point Morgan got up and, while walking off the set, said, “Okay, I’m done with this, sorry, no, sorry… see you later, sorry, can’t do this.”
Just since Morgan’s Tuesday morning comments, more than 40,000 complaints have been filed with the British Broadcast regulator and an investigation has been launched.
After the flap, ITV issued a terse statement “Following discussions with ITV, Piers Morgan has decided now is the time to leave Good Morning Britain,” ITV said in a short statement. “ITV has accepted this decision and has nothing further to add.”
Since Piers Morgan joined Good Morning Britain, the show’s ratings have tripled. The question now will be how to replace a viewer magnet like Morgan and the advertising revenue he brought to the network. The show was charging advertisers between $6,000 and $7,000 CDN for a 30 second spot.
Meanwhile the Royal Family have issued a brief statement acknowledging the explosive comments made by Meghan in the CBS interview.