PIERS Morgan dramatically quit Good Morning Britain after ITV bosses asked him to publicly apologise under the pressure of more than 40,000 Ofcom complaints.
The TV host, 55, resigned after senior execs said they wanted him to say sorry on air following his heated clash with the show’s weatherman Alex Beresford, 40, over Meghan Markle’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
? Follow our Piers Morgan live blog for the latest on his GMB exit…
Piers Morgan has quit Good Morning Britain
Piers made the comments following Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah
Piers stormed off set during the huge row with his GMB co-star on Tuesday morning after Alex criticised for his reaction to Meghan’s claims she contemplated suicide and was racially abused by the royal family.
But Piers said he was not willing to apologise, and walked — bringing an immediate end to his six-year stint on the morning show.
His co-host Susanna Reid, 50, was seen in tears yesterday after a series of heated meetings at ITV’s studios in Television Centre, West London.
Bosses for the channel – which included Director of Television Kevin Lygo – were said to have buckled under the pressure of mounting criticism of former Britain’s Got Talent judge Piers.
Broadcasting regulator Ofcom revealed on Tuesday they had received 41,015 complaints about Monday’s episode of the show, prompting them to launch an investigation under their “harm and offence rules”.
Senior execs at the broadcaster were also concerned that his comments clashed with their landmark mental health campaign Get Britain Talking – prompting criticism from charity Mind.
He has been very vocal about Meghan over the years
Morgan has presented alongside Susanna Reid since 2015
An ITV source said: “Piers was not going to back down.
“He was asked to make an apology but refused. He says he is entitled to his opinion and is always going to stand by it.
“When he refused to apologise, there was a stand-off. And ultimately it ended with him telling producers he would not host the show anymore.
“His contract was coming to an end this year anyway, but he said he wouldn’t do the job unless it was on his terms.
“The growing pressure from building Ofcom complaints and a swell of anger on social media gave bosses no choice but to try and get him to apologise.
“Unfortunately there were also a lot of concerns raised with the GMB production team too.
“Charity Mind also expressed their concerns to senior execs at ITV saying it clashes with their campaign.”
Piers earlier stormed off the GMB set
He had clashed with GMB co-star Alex Beresford
The source added: “It’s been a very difficult 24 hours for Susanna too.
“She’s exceptionally close to Piers, but is now left holding the baby.
“She also doesn’t want to look like in staying silent she just condones his behaviour as she often disagrees with him, but respects his right to have an opinion.”
In a statement, ITV confirmed last night: “Following discussions with ITV, Piers Morgan has decided now is the time to leave Good Morning Britain.
“ITV has accepted this decision and has nothing further to add.”
Piers had previously said he “didn’t believe a word” of Meghan’s interview, in which she said she “didn’t want to be alive” after receiving heavy public scrutiny.
She also alleged an unnamed member of the royal family had raised concerns about her son Archie’s skin colour because Meghan is biracial.