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Why UK TV host Piers Morgan stepped down amid Meghan Markle controversy

Piers Morgan has been known to be a vocal critic of Markle ever since she reportedly cut off ties with him after meeting Prince Harry.

March 10, 2021 / 06:53 PM IST
In this file photo, Piers Morgan at the BAFTA Los Angeles Britannia Awards in Beverly Hills, United States. British talk show host Piers Morgan has quit the show “Good Morning Britain” after making controversial comments about the Duchess of Sussex (Image: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, file)

In this file photo, Piers Morgan at the BAFTA Los Angeles Britannia Awards in Beverly Hills, United States. British talk show host Piers Morgan has quit the show “Good Morning Britain” after making controversial comments about the Duchess of Sussex (Image: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, file)


Journalist and television presenter Piers Morgan left his high-profile breakfast slot with the broadcaster ITV on March 9 following his long-running criticism of Prince Harry’s wife Meghan Markle reached a crescendo over the couple’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Morgan has been known to be a vocal critic of Markle ever since she reportedly cut off ties with him after meeting Prince Harry. The journalist launched scathing attacks on her following the couple's recent tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey.

In a brief statement, the broadcaster ITV confirmed his departure. “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,” it said.

Piers Morgan’s criticism of Meghan Markle

In her interview with Oprah, Markle–who holds the title Duchess of Sussex–had opened up about her deteriorating mental health which coincided with her first pregnancy. She also alleged that her request to palace officials for help when she had suicidal thoughts had been rejected.

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The former host said that he did not believe Markle when she revealed she "didn't want to be alive anymore". This sparked a huge uproar, leading to a number of complaints being filed against him.

Morgan, 55, said Monday on “Good Morning Britain” during a discussion about Meghan's revelations that "I’m sorry, I don’t believe a word she says.

“I wouldn’t believe her if she read me a weather report," he said, adding the duchess had sparked an “onslaught” against the royal family.

In a tweet Morgan also called Markle “Princess Pinocchio”.

On March 9, he stormed off the set of the live programme after he was skewered by a co-host for his criticism of Markle. Later that day, ITV said he was leaving.

Morgan announces resignation shortly after complaints

Morgan's sharp criticism drew backlash from many, including the mental health charity Mind, which said it was disappointed and concerned by Morgan’s comments on not believing Meghan’s experiences about having suicidal thoughts.

“It’s vital that when people reach out for support or share their experiences of ill mental health that they are treated with dignity, respect and empathy," the charity said.

Meanwhile, Ofcom launched an investigation after it received more than 41,000 complaints about remarks made by Piers Morgan about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

On March 10, the former British presenter tweeted, “On Monday, I said I didn’t believe Meghan Markle in her Oprah interview. I’ve had time to reflect on this opinion, and I still don’t. If you did, OK,” Morgan said in a characteristically combative Tweet on Wednesday morning.

“Freedom of speech is a hill I’m happy to die on. Thanks for all the love, and hate. I’m off to spend more time with my opinions,” he told his 7.8 million Twitter followers.

Who will replace Morgan on Good Morning Britain?

Morgan's co-host and long-time presenter Susanna Reid said that she and the 55-year-old “disagreed on many things” but that the show was “going to be very different” without him.

“It is certainly going to be very different but shows go on and so on we go,” she added.

After ITV's announcement, people across the country took to social media to suggest Morgan's replacement. Currently, the top contenders speculated to replace him are editor Ranvir Singh, Jeremy Clarkson, Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway among others.

ITV is yet to confirm who will replace Morgan.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Mar 10, 2021 06:30 pm

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