<em>Good Morning Britain</em> reportedly saw its viewing figures fall the day after Piers Morgan quit the show, following criticism of his response to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Oprah interview – with some angry fans predictably setting up petitions and calling for people to boycott the programme.
The combative presenter stormed off set after being criticised by colleague Alex Beresford for continuing to “trash” the Duchess of Sussex despite her having been “entitled to cut [him] off”.
ITV announced his resignation hours later on Tuesday evening – but not after he drew more than 41,000 complaints to the regulator Ofcom.
Morgan’s claim that he wouldn’t believe Markle “if she read me a weather report” – following her allegations of racism against an unnamed royal and revelation that she had felt suicidal prior to she and her husband’s decision to “step back” as senior royals – also drew consternation from the mental health charity MIND, which responded that it was “disappointed and concerned”.
The following day, Morgan celebrated the news that Good Morning Britain’s viewing figures had overtaken its rival programme BBC Breakfast for the first time on Tuesday morning, when he stormed off set, writing: “My work here is done.”
BroadcastNow reports that Good Morning Britain’s viewing figures peaked at 2.2m just after 8am on Tuesday, with an average 35.3 per cent share of the audience across its three hours – well over a reported average of 850,000 viewers (25.3 per cent) over the four weeks prior.
In comparison, BBC Breakfast took an average of 1.3 million viewers (33.4 per cent of the audience share) on Tuesday morning.
However, the GMB-host.html?ito=social-facebook">MailOnline reports that Good Morning Britain’s viewing figures were some 80,000 lower on Wednesday morning than on the previous day, while angry fans of the departed presenter set up at least three petitions calling for him to be reinstated – despite him apparently having simply left rather than been fired.
The petitions, one of which described his departure as an “absolute farce”, gathered tens of thousands of signatures amid some calls on Twitter to boycott the show.
But the situation appears far from desperate for Good Morning Britain – with the average of 1.21 million viewers on Wednesday reported by the MailOnline still significantly higher than its figures over the past month and at a similar level to Morgan’s penultimate day.
Likely of more concern to ITV would have been the news that its share price dropped 6.5 per cent in the hours after Morgan’s departure – amounting to some £320m. However, this had largely stabilised by Thursday.
Meanwhile, many fans praised the all-female line-up on Wednesday, as Susanna Reid and Ranvir Singh fronted the show.