Piers Morgan would be 'asset' to GB News says Andrew Neil
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It is understood Meghan made a formal complaint to the broadcaster over his repeated outbursts, just hours before his exit from Good Morning Britain. The Duchess of Sussex is said to have insisted she was not upset that Mr Morgan said he “didn’t believe a word she said” in her Oprah Winfrey interview. But she complained that she was worried about how his comments could affect people attempting to deal with their mental health problems.
Meghan went directly to ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall, who signed off on the broadcaster’s £1million deal to show the Oprah Winfrey interview.
Morgan is understood to have been ordered to apologise.
But he refused and quit instead, saying he had the right to tell viewers his “honestly held opinions”.
Dame Carolyn said of Meghan’s comment on mental health: “I completely believe what she said, that the most important thing with mental health that ITV does and is totally committed to is that we support, we get people to speak up.”
Representatives for the Duchess have declined to comment.
Yesterday, Morgan insisted he still did not believe her account of life with the Royal Family and branded the Duchess “frankly contemptible”.
The presenter, 55, also said he was now “talking to people” and will soon be back on our screens following his GMB departure.
Leaving his west London home yesterday, he said: “I don’t believe almost anything that comes out of her [Meghan’s] 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.
“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.
“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.
“Although the woke crowd will think that they’ve cancelled me, I think they will be rather disappointed when I re-emerge.”
Morgan described his departure from the ITV programme as “amicable”, adding: “I had a good chat with ITV and we agreed to disagree. I’m just going to take it easy and see how we go. I would call it a temporary hibernation.”
He added that he is “always in talks with people”. The star had left the flagship ITV breakfast show after a heated on air discussion about the Oprah interview with Prince Harry and Meghan.
Morgan also tweeted to his 7.8 million followers: “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.
“If you did, OK. 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.”
Morgan also shared a famous quote by Britain’s wartime prime minister Winston Churchill, which said: “Some people’s idea of free speech is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage.”
The broadcaster had sensationally quit GMB on Tuesday after he told viewers he “didn’t believe a word she [Meghan] said” to Oprah.
He also branded her “Princess Pinocchio” after the Duchess said she was suicidal while five months pregnant and accused the Royal Family of racism.
At one point during the show weatherman Alex Beresford accused Morgan of unfairly “trashing” Meghan, branding him “diabolical”. He added: “I’m sorry but Piers just spouts off on a regular basis and we have to sit there and listen.”
Morgan stormed off the set, though he later returned before quitting the show for good.
His views have sparked more than 41,000 complaints to Ofcom.
His co-host Susanna Reid yesterday admitted the outspoken presenter’s sudden departure would mean the show will be “very different”.
Ms Reid said: “Some of you may cheer and others may boo. It is certainly going to be very different but shows go on and so on we go.”
Last night there was widespread speculation that Morgan might join the upcoming new channel GB News.
Set to rival Sky News and BBC News, the channel has snapped up a whole host of stars to join its presenting team.
GB News plans to broadcast individual programmes and news-based shows.
Was Piers right to storm off GMB?
YES, says Virginia Blackburn
And so Meghangate has claimed another victim – Piers Morgan.
The broadcaster left Good Morning Britain after a row about the Duchess, in which he said he did not believe she had suicidal thoughts.
For this thought crime he has come in for a barrage of criticism. We are not allowed to have opinions any more, it seems, unless they kowtow to the prevailing orthodoxy. And heaven help you if you cast any doubt on anyone’s claims to have issues with mental health.
Piers has a habit of turning misfortune into personal advantage, so I don’t think we need to worry about him too much.
But his actions did at least demonstrate quite how absurd the pandering to the woke agenda has become. It was GMB’s woke-ness that caused him to quit, he said.
It’s all part of the wider cancel culture that is actually beginning to close down free speech. If you are a controversial television presenter, traditionally you have been allowed to say something controversial.
Not any more, when TV really is turning into the bland leading the bland.
Piers is too controversial a figure to have that many people mourning his departure.
At least he’s highlighted that our so-called caring society is pretty fast to stamp a jackboot on anyone straying from the new norm.
At least he wasn’t accused of racism, although don’t bet on that not happening.
Walk proud, Piers, and find another vantage point from which to fight.
NO, says Frances Millar
While Piers Morgan enjoyed a lie-in yesterday I have no doubt he was feeling pretty pleased.
Waking up at the crack of dawn for six years must take a toll, and perhaps played a part in his strop. It would go some way to explain why a 55-year-old acted like an overwrought toddler on national TV.
Predictably unrepentant, he tweeted: “Freedom of speech is a hill I’m happy to die on.”
An honourable sentiment and one I agree with wholeheartedly.
Alongside he shared Sir Winston Churchill’s quote: “Some people’s idea of free speech is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back that is an outrage.”
An “outrage” indeed as it took just a gentle challenge from weatherman Alex Beresford to cause Piers to stomp off. Employing your right to freedom of speech is utterly meaningless unless you are also willing to listen, and not just to those who echo your views. Otherwise you might as well be ranting into a canyon.
The GMB audience also has a right to hear balanced and intelligent debate rather than be spoon-fed the biased opinions of just one person.
Rumour has it Piers is in discussions with the GB News channel which promises US-style shows with opinionated presenters.
A match made in heaven…or hell? Either way, Piers is sure to be ratings gold and may finally get the “freedom” he so craves.
But, as they say, it’s lonely at the top.
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