GMB: Piers Morgan walks off after clash with Alex Beresford
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Piers Morgan sensationally quit his role as host of Good Morning Britain earlier this year when he shared his views on the Sussexes interview with Oprah in which they detailed how they felt life was like for them as members of the Royal Family. The episode of the ITV news programme saw the presenter lose his cool with several guests and he also clashed with his co-stars the next day, leading to him walking out of the studio. Viewers complained in their thousands to the broadcasting watchdog Ofcom and the moment will go down in history as the journalist’s rant over Meghan Markle has hit over 50,000 complaints.
The scenes unfolded on March 8, 2021, in which Piers sat next to his co-host Susanna Reid and shared his views on what he had watched.
He claimed he “did not believe” a word the Duchess of Sussex had said during her candid conversation with American television star Oprah.
This caused outrage from viewers as they thought he had focussed on her discussion about mental health and how he spoke to guest, Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu.
On March 9, 2021, the host resigned from his post and has since given multiple interviews with various news outlets stating why he had to leave.
In a review of the biggest moments from this year’s television, Ofcom have officially confirmed this dramatic altercation.
According to statistics from Ofcom, Piers’ outburst tops their list with 54,595 viewers having lodged their grievances with the broadcasting watchdog.
This is a staggering feat as the company has concluded 33 investigations over the past 12 months and they have recorded 20 breaches of the official guidelines.
However, although Piers’ rant has topped their list, earlier this year Ofcom announced they were going to drop the case.
In an official report, spanning over 97 pages, a spokesperson for the broadcasting watchdog said they were not going to impose sanctions on Piers as it would be a “chilling restriction” on his freedom of expression.
They explained they were expecting the interview between Meghan and Oprah, which meant they were going to make headlines and be at the centre of discussions.
This is a resounding victory
They did stipulate Piers showed an “apparent disregard” for Meghan’s mental health and Piers later spoke outside his home in London where he shared his thoughts on the ruling.
Ofcom added: “ITV had provided adequate protection to viewers from potentially harmful and highly offensive statements about mental health and suicide.”
After the broadcasting watchdog said their decision was “finely balanced,” Piers reacted to the ruling and took to Twitter to share his thoughts.
The presenter wrote: “I’m delighted Ofcom has endorsed my right to disbelieve the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s incendiary claims to Oprah Winfrey, many of which have proven to be untrue.
“This is a resounding victory for free speech and a resounding defeat for Princess Pinocchios. Do I get my job back?”
Back in September, Piers spoke out about Meghan, six months after he’d called it quits as host of Good Morning Britain.
Speaking to The Mirror about what the Duchess would think about him winning an award for his broadcasting career, the journalist said: “Who cares?!
“Honestly, she’s been great for my career to be honest with you. I really want to thank her,” the presenter concluded.
Piers has not returned to Good Morning Britain since he left in March and he has been replaced by a whole list of his former co-stars.
He is also leaving his role as host of Life Stories, with Kate Garraway presenting the last three shows of the last series.
At the time he quit Good Morning Britain, Piers said: “ITV executives suggested to me that I should now issue an apology to calm things down. But I don’t believe Meghan, so why would I apologise?
“To compound my growing twitchiness, I got a text from my old foe Jeremy Clarkson that read: ‘I am completely on your side.’
“Kevin Lygo, ITV’s Director of Television, rang to say we were now ‘on the cliff edge’ and either I apologised, or I would have to leave GMB.
“I reached a moment of total gut clarity: f*** it, I wasn’t going to apologise for disbelieving Meghan Markle, because the truth is that I don’t believe Meghan Markle.
“And in a free, democratic society, I should be allowed not to believe someone, and to say that I don’t believe them,” he wrote in the Mail on Sunday.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.
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