Piers Morgan's first words since leaving Good Morning Britain following Meghan interview comments backlash
Piers Morgan has spoken for the first time since leaving his role as a presenter with Good Morning Britain.
The presenter left the ITV morning show following a backlash against his incendiary comments about Meghan and her headline-making interview.
But he has not backed down and has now labelled the Duchess of Sussex’s comments in her interview with Oprah Winfrey as ‘contemptible’.
Broadcaster ITV announced in a brief statement late on Tuesday that Morgan was leaving Good Morning Britain.
Speaking outside his London home on Wednesday morning, the presenter described his departure from the 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 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.’
His comments followed a tweet in which he said he still does not believe what Meghan said to the US chat show host.
He tweeted: ‘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.’
Susanna Reid addressed her co-host’s exit and referred to his often divisive presence as she opened Wednesday’s programme, saying: ‘A number of people will know the news and many of you will not and will be surprised that Piers Morgan is not here this morning.
‘Now, Piers and I have disagreed on many things and that dynamic was one of the things viewers loved about the programme.
‘He is without doubt an outspoken, challenging, opinionated, disruptive broadcaster.
‘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.’
Reid said there are ‘many voices’ on Good Morning Britain and ‘everyone has their say’.
She added: ‘But now Piers has decided to leave the programme. Some of you may cheer and others may 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.’
Ranvir Singh, Reid’s co-presenter for the morning, responded: ‘Well said.’
She described Morgan as a ‘big character’ and said ‘many viewers will be absolutely gutted’.
Singh called Morgan ‘Marmite’ and acknowledged his role in Good Morning Britain’s success.
ITV said is it not commenting on reports that the duchess had filed an official complaint to the broadcaster about Morgan’s comments.