UK communications investigator, Ofcom is investigation Piers Morgan’s comments against Meghan Markle following the Duchess of Sussex’s interview alongside her husband, with Oprah Winfrey. Piers Morgan has said he stands by his criticism of the Duchess of Sussex as ITV’s Good Morning Britain aired for the first time since his departure.
Morgan left the show on Tuesday after saying he “didn’t believe a word” Meghan said in her interview with Oprah Winfrey.
It is also being reported the duchess formally complained to ITV about Morgan’s remarks.
Chris Ship, the royal editor of ITV News, tweeted: “Meghan raised concerns about how Piers Morgan’s words affect the issue of mental health and what it might do to others contemplating suicide.” Neither those representing the Sussexes nor ITV have confirmed the complaint.
Morgan was a divisive figure during his six years on Good Morning Britain. His departure came after he stormed off set when he was criticised by his colleague Alex Beresford, and after ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall said that, unlike Morgan, she did believe the duchess.
Ranvir Singh, who was sitting in Morgan’s chair on Wednesday, said: “We don’t call him Marmite for nothing.” It is not yet known who will be his permanent replacement on GMB.
In a tweet as Wednesday’s programme was beginning, Morgan said: “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.”
He added: “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.” His message was accompanied by a photo of Winston Churchill with a quote about free speech.
Speaking outside his London home later, the presenter described his departure as “amicable”, adding: “I had a good chat with ITV and we agreed to disagree.”
He explained: “I believe in freedom of speech, I believe in the right to be allowed to have an opinion. If people want to believe Meghan Markle, that’s entirely their right.
“I don’t believe almost anything that comes out of her mouth and I think the damage she’s done to the British monarchy and to the Queen at a time when Prince Philip is lying in hospital is enormous and frankly contemptible.
“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.”
Before his departure on Tuesday, Morgan did concede that it was “not for me to question if she felt suicidal”.
On Wednesday,he also said: “I think it’s fair to say, although the woke crowd will think that they’ve cancelled me, I think they will be rather disappointed when I re-emerge.”
He added that his forthcoming absence from screens would be “a temporary hibernation”, and that he was “always in talks with people” about offers of work.
ITV said the final episode of his Life Stories series, featuring Coleen Nolan, is still scheduled to be broadcast next week as planned.
Morgan’s long-time co-presenter began Wednesday’s episode of the breakfast programme by informing viewers about Morgan’s exit.
“He has many critics and he has many fans. You will know that I disagreed with him about Meghan’s interview. He himself clarified his comments about her mental health on the show yesterday. There are many voices on GMB, and everyone has their say.
“But now, Piers has decided to leave the programme. Some of you may cheer and others will boo.
“He has been my presenting partner, Monday to Wednesday, for more than five years, and during Brexit and the pandemic and other issues, he has been a voice for many of you and a voice that many of you have railed against.
“It is certainly going to be very different, but shows go on, and so on we go.”
Singh added that Morgan was a “big character” and acknowledged that many viewers would be “gutted”.