Self-styled champion against ‘woke brigade’ Piers Morgan leaves ITV with a ‘Ha!’ after beating rival BBC Breakfast in ratings
Morgan celebrated his GMB team’s work and dedication in a tweet on Thursday, two days after his final appearance as the host of the program.
In a parting shot apparently aimed at critics, he said he had fulfilled a promise to defeat ‘BBC Breakfast’ after years of ratings rivalry.
I had one goal when I joined @GMB - beat @BBCBreakfast in the ratings.On my last day, we did it. That was down to the hard work & dedication of the whole team.They don't all agree with me, some don't even like me, but we were a team..and we won. Thanks guys. I'll miss you. pic.twitter.com/eOOmoZfmPT— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 11, 2021
Morgan’s final outing on Tuesday was watched by 1.29 million viewers in the UK, according to figures supplied by overnights.tv. ‘BBC Breakfast’ had an audience of 1.25 million on the same day, which marked the first time that the ITV competitor beat it since GMB launched in April 2014. The record was hailed by Morgan, who said it meant that “my work is done.”
The combative host’s surprise retirement from ITV happened after an on-air squabble with co-presenter Alex Beresford over Morgan’s criticism of Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex. Beresford voiced his contempt with Morgan over his remark that he didn’t “believe a word” Markle said about having suicidal thoughts during an interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday.Also on rt.com Piers Morgan CANCELED: Good Morning Britain host quits ITV after storming off set during show on Meghan Markle
Morgan stormed out of the studio in response, sparking widespread mockery about having a thin skin – a trait that he often lambasts in others. That didn’t dissuade his fans – or simply folk anticipating a continuation of the scandal – from tuning in and watching GMB in record numbers. Morgan is an outspoken critic of political correctness and other things valued by what he terms the “woke brigade.”
On his way out, Morgan extended his thanks to another no-nonsense TV figure, Sharon Osbourne, who unequivocally supported him amid the controversy. “When stuff like this happens, true friends run towards you, fake friends run away,” he tweeted, adding that Osbourne “always stays true to herself.”
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 what she believes. https://t.co/gYnSwXZsUe— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 10, 2021
ITV shares took a 4.3% dip on Tuesday. According to market analysts, it could indicate investors’ concern about the future ratings of GMB after Morgan’s departure, or possible action by the media regulator Ofcom, which received a whopping 41,000 complaints over the host’s coverage of the Oprah interview with Markle and her husband Prince Harry.
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