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Piers Morgan reveals he quit GMB after refusing to apologise

Piers Morgan today revealed he quit GMB after refusing to apologise for ‘disbelieving’ Meghan Markle‘s claims – as he warned free speech was the ‘most important’ issue in modern Britain. 

In an open letter shared on Instagram, the tough-talking journalist thanked his supporters and declared he was ‘willing to stand my ground’. 

He wrote: I’ve lost my job at Good Morning Britain because I chose not to apologise for disbelieving Meghan Markle’s claims in her interview with Oprah Winfrey. 

‘I thus became the latest ‘’victim’’ of the cancel culture that is permeating our country, every minute, of every hour, of everyday. Though of course, I consider myself to be neither a victim, nor actually cancelled.’ 

Piers had said he did not believe the duchess’s remarks in her interview with Winfrey, during which she spoke about her mental health and having suicidal thoughts. 

The 55-year-old left his role shortly after storming off on set after a row with weatherman Alex Beresford over his comments on Meghan, which prompted more than 41,000 complaints to Ofcom.  

In less than 48 hours, more than 100,000 people have made impassioned pleas calling for the presenter to be reinstated on ITV’s flagship breakfast show.

Piers happily stopped and smiled for the cameras as he left his west London home with daughter Elise this morning

In an open letter on Instagram, the journalist declared himself the latest victim of cancel culture, before adding that he considered himself 'neither a victim, not actually cancelled'

In an open letter on Instagram, the journalist declared himself the latest victim of cancel culture, before adding that he considered himself 'neither a victim, not actually cancelled'

In an open letter on Instagram, the journalist declared himself the latest victim of cancel culture, before adding that he considered himself ‘neither a victim, not actually cancelled’

Piers Morgan’s full opening letter 

Hi everyone.

To all my supporters, I just wanted to drop you a note of thanks. (To all my haters, whatever.) It has been an extraordinary week for me, for Britain, for our monarchy and for our future. Those of you that know me well enough know that, despite my many faults, I’m always willing to stand my ground for the things that I think matter most. 

My fervent opposition to the Iraq War led to my demise from the Daily Mirror. My outspoken views on the insanity of American gun laws led to the end of my time at CNN. And now I’ve lost my job at Good Morning Britain because I chose not to apologise for disbelieving Meghan Markle’s claims in her interview with Oprah Winfrey. I thus became the latest ‘victim’ of the cancel culture that is permeating our country, every minute, of every hour, of everyday. Though of course, I consider myself to be neither a victim, nor actually cancelled.

However, I do believe the defence of free speech and the right to express honestly held opinions, is the most important issue of my career, and the most important issue in British society.

If you’d like to show your support for me, please order a copy of my book Wake Up on Amazon. It’s less than a tenner, and I didn’t write it to make more money but because the very foundations of democracy, built upon freedom of expression, freedom of thought and freedom of speech, are under attack like never before and must be defended. It is a privilege to live in a democracy, and it is a privilege to be British. As I said when I left GMB, the right to free speech is a hill worth dying on. So, have a read, and if you like it, give it to one of your friends.

This is not simply an act of defiance, but a commitment to our collective futures.

Kind regards,

Piers

Today Morgan wrote: ‘To all my supporters, I just wanted to drop you a note of thanks. (To all my haters, whatever.) 

6’It has been an extraordinary week for me, for Britain, for our monarchy and for our future. 

‘Those of you that know me well enough know that, despite my many faults, I’m always willing to stand my ground for the things that I think matter most. 

‘My fervent opposition to the Iraq War led to my demise from the Daily Mirror. My outspoken views on the insanity of American gun laws led to the end of my time at CNN. 

‘And now I’ve lost my job at Good Morning Britain because I chose not to apologise for disbelieving Meghan Markle’s claims in her interview with Oprah Winfrey.’

Morgan went on to claim that he was the victim of ‘cancel culture’. 

He added: ‘I thus became the latest ‘’victim’’ of the cancel culture that is permeating our country, every minute, of every hour, of everyday. Though of course, I consider myself to be neither a victim, nor actually cancelled.

‘However, I do believe the defence of free speech and the right to express honestly held opinions, is the most important issue of my career, and the most important issue in British society.’

It comes after it was revealed Good Morning Britain lost 80,000 viewers the day after Piers quit – while its rival BBC Breakfast’s audience grew by 200,000. 

The outspoken GMB host, who quit over his stance on Meghan Markle, helped the show achieve its highest-ever ratings on Tuesday this week, with 1.29million viewers compared to the BBC’s 1.25million.     

One petition, called ‘Bring Back Piers Morgan!‘, accused ITV of treating him ‘appallingly’ and another, ‘Keep Piers Morgan on GMB for his common sense approach to life‘, now has more than 125,000 signatures.

third, which has been signed by more than 40,000 people, describes his departure as ‘an absolute farce’.  

Tens of thousands of viewers have been making impassioned pleas to ITV bosses to reinstate Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain after he sensationally quit the show

Tens of thousands of viewers have been making impassioned pleas to ITV bosses to reinstate Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain after he sensationally quit the show

Close to 200,000 people have signed a series of petitions calling for the presenter to be reinstated on ITV's flagship breakfast show

Close to 200,000 people have signed a series of petitions calling for the presenter to be reinstated on ITV’s flagship breakfast show

Piers responded to the soaring petitions on Twitter, writing that although the support came as a 'pleasant surprise' he will not be returning to GMB

Piers responded to the soaring petitions on Twitter, writing that although the support came as a ‘pleasant surprise’ he will not be returning to GMB

Bring back Piers! Tens of thousands sign petitions demanding ITV bosses bring back host

  • A petition launched after Piers quit GMB, which can be found by clicking here, said the popular host had been treated ‘appallingly.’  
  • A second petition titled ‘Save Piers Morgan from being sacked from GMB’, said any decision to remove him from the show would be ‘an absolute farce.’ It can be found by clicking here.
  • Another petition was set up to ‘Keep Piers Morgan on GMB for his common sense approach to life’. The petition can be found by clicking here

All three have garnered hundreds of thousands of signatures since Piers walked out. 

The first petition tells fans: ‘This man has stuck by our NHS when many others didn’t care including our government.

‘He confronts the politicians on questions many of us want answering. He sponsored Sir Captain Tom £10,000 to start him off to support our NHS. 

‘Please sign this petition and share it on, give him the support that he has given us as NHS workers.’ 

Another entitled ‘Bring Back Piers Morgan’ states: ‘How ITV have treated Piers Morgan after he saved one of their failing shows is appalling. 

‘They have thrown him under the bus and allowed him to be bullied by an colleague on air. Piers has turned the show into the most talked about show on ITV. 

‘He was the only person who spoke on behalf of viewers during the pandemic and now he’s been bullied by the snowflakes all for speaking the truth.’  

The third petition, set up in 2019 to ‘Keep Piers Morgan on GMB for his common sense approach to life’, has also been gaining momentum. 

It began as critics called for Piers to be sacked from GMB after he held politicians to account over their handling of the Covid crisis, and their lack of support for NHS workers.   

 

Piers Morgan tweeted a message of thanks to the Good Morning Britain team

Piers Morgan tweeted a message of thanks to the Good Morning Britain team

A third petition had tonight gained 40,838 of its goal of 50,000 signatures

A third petition had tonight gained 40,838 of its goal of 50,000 signatures

It was set up by Emma Gates from Wigan, who urged people: ‘Sadly someone has an ongoing petition to have Piers Morgan sacked from GMB for being too out spoken! This is an absolute farce. 

‘This man has stuck by our NHS when many others didn’t care including our government! He confronts the politicians on questions many of us want answering! He sponsored sir captain Tom £10000 to start him off to support our NHS! 

‘Please sign this petition and share it on, give him the support that he has given us as NHS workers!’

The total number of signatures for the three polls is now more 200,000. 

Piers yesterday responded to the soaring petitions on Twitter, writing that although the support came as a ‘pleasant surprise’ he will not be returning to GMB.

He said: ‘I won’t be going back, but thanks to everyone who has signed these petitions. Normally, people start petitions to have me fired or deported, so this is a pleasant surprise.’ 

He also tweeted his thanks to the GMB team, praising them for their ‘hard work and dedication’ that led to them beating their main breakfast TV rival. 

He tweeted: ‘I had one goal when I joined GMB – beat BBC Breakfast in the ratings. On my last day, we did it.’ 

It comes after it was revealed Good Morning Britain lost 80,000 viewers the day after Piers quit - while its rival BBC Breakfast's audience grew by 200,000

It comes after it was revealed Good Morning Britain lost 80,000 viewers the day after Piers quit – while its rival BBC Breakfast’s audience grew by 200,000

But within 24 hours of his smash-hit final broadcast on Tuesday, Wednesday’s ratings had plummeted to 1.21million while BBC Breakfast took the lead again with an average 1.42million viewers.

Shares in ITV also plunged in the wake of his resignation with almost £200million wiped off the company’s value last night. 

Following Piers’ dramatic resignation on Tuesday, it emerged Meghan Markle had contacted ITV  – reportedly chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall – to complain about his comments relating to mental health.  

The Duchess of Sussex insisted she was not upset that Piers said he ‘didn’t believe a word she said’ in her Oprah interview – but was worried about how his comments could affect people attempting to deal with their own mental health problems, an insider said. 

Piers Morgan slams ‘bullies’ on US chat show The Talk for ‘shaming’ Sharon Osbourne into apologising after she stood up to co-stars accusing him of racism for questioning Meghan’s claims

Piers Morgan today slammed ‘bullies’ on US chat show The Talk for ‘shaming’ Sharon Osbourne into apologising after he stood up to the panel accusing him of racism for questioning Meghan Markle’s claims. 

Osbourne had launched into a passionate defence of her fellow Brit on the programme, saying ‘Everybody has a right to say what they feel with freedom of speech’. 

But after receiving a barracking on the show and a backlash on social media, she tweeted today to say  that after ‘some reflection… I am truly sorry’, as she apologised ‘to anyone of colour that I offended and/or to anyone that feels confused or let down’.  

Morgan expressed his disappointment with the u-turn today, tweeting: ‘Sharon’s been shamed & bullied into apologising for defending me against colleagues accusing me of racism because I don’t believe Meghan Markle’s bulls***.

‘This is where we’ve reached. I demand an apology from those @TheTalkCBS bullies for their disgraceful slurs against ME.’

Piers Morgan today expressed his disappointment after Sharon Osbourne apologised following her impassioned defence of him on US chat show The Talk

Piers Morgan today expressed his disappointment after Sharon Osbourne apologised following her impassioned defence of him on US chat show The Talk 

Earlier Osbourne, 68, had posted a lengthy statement on Twitter in which she wrote:  I have always been embraced with so much love and support from the black community and I have deep respect and love for the black community.

‘To anyone of colour that I offended and/or to anyone that feels confused or let down by what I said, I am truly sorry.

‘I panicked, felt blindsided, got defensive and allowed my fear and horror of being accused of being racist take over.

‘There are very few things that hurt my heart more than racism so to feel associated with that spun me fast!

‘I am not perfect, I am still learning like the rest of us and will continue to learn, listen and do better.’

Osbourne had also tweeted her support for Morgan, saying: ‘I am with you. I stand by you. People forget that you’re paid for your opinion and that you’re just speaking your truth.’

Now she has said: ‘Please hear me when I say I do not condone racism, misogyny or bullying.

‘I should have been more specific about that in my tweet. I will always support freedom of speech, but now I see how I unintentionally didn’t make that clear distinction.’

Morgan had praised Osbourne for tweeting her support for him, saying: ‘When stuff like this happens, true friends run towards you, fake friends run away. I love Sharon Osbourne because she always stays true to herself.

‘She knew she would get abused by the woke brigade for tweeting this – but did it anyway because it’s what she believes.’ 

Osbourne on Wednesday asked her co-host on The Talk to explain her issue with Morgan

Osbourne on Wednesday asked her co-host on The Talk to explain her issue with Morgan 

Osbourne's statement, which she posted onto Twitter following a backlash

Osbourne’s statement, which she posted onto Twitter following a backlash 

The pair have known each other for decades.  

When Morgan launched Piers Morgan’s Life Stories on British television in 2009, Osbourne was his first guest. 

Morgan told reporters outside his West London home on Wednesday: ‘If I have to fall on my sword for expressing an honestly held opinion about Meghan Markle and that diatribe of bilge that she came out with in that interview, so be it.’         

Morgan, a former presenter on CNN and Daily Mail editor at large, was strongly critical of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to speak to Oprah Winfrey, in an interview that aired on Sunday night in the U.S. and on Monday in the U.K.

He accused Meghan and Harry of damaging the royal family and seeking publicity on their own terms – without accepting the responsibility and scrutiny that come with their position.

His criticism sparked a firestorm, and he departed from Good Morning Britain on Tuesday, following a furious row with his co-host Alex Beresford, which saw him storm off the set,

During Wednesday’s debate Osbourne told Sheryl Underwood, her co-host, who was on the verge of tears, that she felt he was just expressing an opinion. 

‘Did I like everything he said? Did I agree with what he said? No, because it’s his opinion. It’s not my opinion. 

‘But why is it that because I supported a long-time friend and work colleague of mine for years that everybody goes, if you support him, then you must be racist because he’s racist?’ 

With Underwood looking upset, Osbourne continued: ‘This is the situation. 

‘You tell me where you have heard him say, educate me, tell me when you have heard him [Morgan] say racist things. 

‘Educate me. Tell me.’

Underwood told Osbourne, who has known Morgan for many decades, why she was upset

Underwood told Osbourne, who has known Morgan for many decades, why she was upset

Piers happily stopped and smiled for the cameras as he left his west London home with daughter Elise yesterday morning

Piers happily stopped and smiled for the cameras as he left his west London home with daughter Elise yesterday morning

Underwood said that the issue was not with Morgan’s words as much as his tone.

‘It is not the exact words of racism,’ said Underwood.

‘It is the implication and the reaction to it. 

‘To not want to address that, because she is a black woman, and to try and dismiss it or to make it seem less than it is. That’s what makes it racist.

‘Right now I am talking to a woman I believe is my friend. 

‘I don’t want anybody here to watch this and think we are attacking you for being racist.’

Osbourne replied: ‘I think it’s too late. That seed is already sown.’ 

Her other co-host, Elaine Welteroth, added that it was a moment to ‘stand up for anti-racism.’ 

Welteroth added: ‘When we give passes or give space to people who are saying damaging, harmful things, what we’re kind of doing is permissing it,’ she explained. ‘And I think that’s what people are reacting to.’ 

How Piers Morgan transformed struggling GMB into ratings juggernaut

Charlotte Hawkins, Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid pictured in September 2017

Charlotte Hawkins, Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid pictured in September 2017 

When Piers Morgan joined Good Morning Britain in November 2015, ITV’s weekday breakfast show was still struggling to outshine its predecessor. 

It consistently had lower ratings than Daybreak despite a £1.5million launch a year earlier and high-profile signings such as Susanna Reid from BBC Breakfast, averaging about 560,000 viewers per episode.

Morgan joined the cast following a five-episode stint in April, and helped rocket the ITV show to its ‘highest ever’ viewing figures – which saw an audience of 1.65million people tune in last Monday. 

But after a five-year career with Good Morning Britain, ITV announced the tough-talking morning show host has sensationally quit his role.   

Morgan’s resignation from Good Morning Britain marks the end of the latest chapter in his extraordinary career, in which he helped a struggling breakfast show grow into an undeniably popular news and talk programme.  

Morgan was often praised for his chemistry with co-host Reid throughout his time at Good Morning Britain, with the latter once explaining the connection between the pair was ‘instant’.

Reid, 50, said in October 2017: ‘He totally wound me up from the moment he joined Good Morning Britain, nearly two years ago. ‘He’s the most annoying man I’ve ever met, but I find working with him exhilarating. Yes, he drives me nuts, but he also makes me laugh – and when the chips are down, and there’s a big news story breaking or we’re doing a controversial interview with a politician, I trust him.’

Reid, 50, said: 'He totally wound me up from the moment he joined Good Morning Britain. He's the most annoying man I've ever met, but I find working with him exhilarating. Yes, he drives me nuts, but he also makes me laugh - and when the chips are down, and there's a big news story breaking or we're doing a controversial interview with a politician, I trust him'

Reid, 50, said: ‘He totally wound me up from the moment he joined Good Morning Britain. He’s the most annoying man I’ve ever met, but I find working with him exhilarating. Yes, he drives me nuts, but he also makes me laugh – and when the chips are down, and there’s a big news story breaking or we’re doing a controversial interview with a politician, I trust him’

The colleagues quickly became famed for their vicious on-air battles, with Piers’ forthright views also often generating fierce debate and controversy among GMB’s millions of viewers.

For countless Britons, he was must-see TV, celebrated for his no-nonsense approach and for holding Ministers to account throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.   

Prior to his five-year stint on Good Morning Britain, Piers made his name in newspapers, becoming at 29 the youngest national newspaper editor in half a century when he rose the ranks of the News of the World in 1994.   

The journalist left the paper following the controversial publication of photographs of Catherine Victoria Aitken, formerly Victoria Spencer, Countess Spencer, in 1995.

He later joined rival tabloid the Daily Mirror, but was sacked ‘with immediate effect’ in May 2004 after the newspaper published false images which alleged to show Iraqi prisoners being abused by British soldiers. 

The photographs were shown to be fakes within days, and the Mirror claimed it had fallen victim to a ‘calculated and malicious hoax’ when apologising for the publication.   

Piers began a distinguished career in television before departing the Mirror, reinventing himself as a CNN presenter in the US where he has a significant following. 

Kate Garraway, Piers Morgan, Sarah Ferguson Duchess of York and Susanna Reid in November 2018

Kate Garraway, Piers Morgan, Sarah Ferguson Duchess of York and Susanna Reid in November 2018 

He replaced television and radio host Larry King in the network’s evening line-up with his show Piers Morgan Live, which began in January 2011 before ending its run in March 2014.

It was around this time that the straight-talking host began presenting the hugely successful chat show Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, in which he quizzes high-profile celebrities including Sharon Osbourne and Trisha Goddard one-on-one.

The show, which began in February 2009 and is ongoing, has also featured appearances from Elton John, Rod Stewart and Captain Tom Moore – who raised millions for the NHS in a charity walk during the Covid-19 crisis.

Outside the world of journalism, Piers has also appeared as a judge on America’s Got Talent in 2006 and later on the British version of the show. He also won the US Celebrity Apprentice in 2007, which featured former US President Donald Trump.

Moving on from his past success, and his departure from GMB, Piers remains a highly popular MailOnline columnist in both the UK and US. He was appointed editor-at-large of the publication’s US operation in September 2014. 


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