GMB loses 255,000 viewers after Piers Morgan’s dramatic exit over Meghan row

Liam O'Dell@LiamODellUK
Tuesday 16 March 2021 15:50
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The ITV breakfast programme Good Morning Britain has lost more than 250,000 viewers in the space of a week after Piers Morgan left the show, according to figures released by MailOnline.

The average viewership last Monday’s edition of GMB, which saw Morgan and co-host Susanna Reid respond to Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, came in at more than 1.1 million.

A week later, on Monday 15 March, when Ben Shephard appeared alongside Reid, that figure dropped to 895,700 viewers.

The slump comes as the programme continues without Morgan, who left the show last Tuesday following comments about Markle’s TV interview which prompted furious backlash online.

A day earlier, Morgan had said he “[doesn’t] believe a word she says”, after a clip was shared showing Markle had experienced suicidal thoughts.

The comments were condemned by members of the public, while the mental health charity Mind said the remarks had left them “disappointed and concerned”.

Morgan later clarified his stance on the issue last Tuesday and said: “On mental illness and suicide, these are extremely serious things and should be taken extremely seriously. If someone is feeling that way, they should get the treatment and the help that they need – every time.

“It’s not for me to question whether she felt suicidal … My real concern is a disbelief, frankly – and I am prepared to be proven wrong on this, and if I’m wrong, it is a scandal – that she went to a senior member of the royal household, told them she was suicidal, and was told she could not have any help.”

In the same show, Morgan was seen storming off set after co-presenter Alex Beresford criticised the journalist for his previous comments about Markle.

“I understand that you don’t like Meghan Markle - you’ve made it so clear a number of times on this programme.

“I understand that you’ve got a personal relationship with Meghan Markle – or had one – and she cut you off. She’s entitled to cut you off if she wants to.

“Has she said anything about you since she cut you off? I don’t think she has, but yet you continue to trash her,” he said.

Later that day, the media regulator Ofcom announced it had launched an investigation into Morgan’s comments about Markle, after it received more than 41,000 complaints from members of the public. 

Morgan would then go on to leave Good Morning Britain, with ITV publishing a statement announcing the decision on Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday, Morgan reported that his “work is done”, after his final show beat BBC Breakfast in the TV ratings.

Good Morning Britain is yet to comment on Morgan’s official replacement.

More: As an American, the Piers Morgan news this week has been a bizarre learning curve

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