by Abid Rahman | HollywoodReporter.Com
Troy Warren for Hometown Hall #reviews-all
The ‘Good Morning Britain’ host lost his cool after co-presenter Alex Beresford criticized his “diabolical” tirades against the Sussexes. ITV CEO Carolyn McCall also admitted that network execs had spoken to Morgan about his behavior.
Piers Morgan stormed off the set of his own morning show in the U.K. after a colleague called him out for his rants against Meghan Markle and Prince Harry following their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Morgan, the host of ITV’s Good Morning Britain, was called out by the show’s weatherman Alex Beresford for his one-man tirade against the Sussexes on Monday, particularly against Markle, and how blithely the America’s Got Talent judge dismissed issues of mental health and suicide ideation.
Beresford then brought up Morgan’s previous relationship with Markle, suggesting that he was somewhat obsessed, which led to him dramatically leaving the set. “I understand you don’t like Meghan Markle, you’ve made it so clear a number of times on this program, a number of times,” Beresford said.
He continued: “And I understand you’ve got a personal relationship with Meghan Markle or you had one and she cut you off. She’s entitled to cut you off if she wants to. Has she said anything about you since she cut you off? I don’t think she has and yet you continue to trash her.”
Morgan is then heard to say “I’m done with this. See you later” and “sorry, I can’t do this” as he’s seen to head for the studio exit. Speaking to his colleagues, Beresford adds: “Absolutely diabolical behavior. I’m sorry but Piers spouts off on a regular basis and we all have to sit there and listen… It’s incredibly hard to watch.”
On Monday’s episode of Good Morning Britain, Morgan opened the show by repeatedly suggesting that Prince Harry had “spray-gunned” his family with the revelatory interview and that it was “so disloyal.” “He’s been spray-gunning his entire family on global TV as Prince Philip lies in hospital,” said Morgan, adding, “I see right through them,” and that “Prince Charles has been bankrolling that couple for the last five years.”
Continued Morgan: “America is trashing our country and trashing our monarchy now.”
He focused most of his contempt for Markle, however, repeatedly accusing the Duchess of Sussex of lying, acting and playing the victim as well as belittling her claims of mental anguish and racism.
On Tuesday’s show, Morgan also planned to speak with Markle’s estranged father.
Morgan’s obsessive vitriol led to a huge social media backlash as well as a wave of complaints to the British broadcasting regulator Ofcom. Mental health charity Mind also said it would be talking to ITV over Morgan’s behavior.
Beresford’s allusion to Morgan’s history with Markle stems from the two exchanging Twitter DMs and meeting up for a pub “date” in 2015. Speaking on Irish late-night show The Late Late Show, Morgan gave his version of events: “We had two hours in the pub, she had a couple of dirty martinis and pints – we got on brilliantly”
He added: “Then I put her in a cab, and it turns out it was the cab that took her to a party where she met Prince Harry. The next night they had a solo dinner and that was the last I ever heard from Meghan Markle. I never heard from her again – Meghan Markle ghosted me.”
On Tuesday, during ITV’s earnings conference call with reporters, CEO Carolyn McCall was asked about the Markle and Prince Harry interview and Morgan’s controversial reaction to it. “I completely believe what she says,” McCall said when questioned about Markle’s comments about suicidal thoughts, adding that ITV is “totally committed to” mental health and “everyone” has to listen to and believe people facing challenges.
“I haven’t spoken to Piers myself,” but managing director, media and entertainment Kevin Lygo, ITV’s top programmer, had, McCall added. “I know Kevin Lygo is speaking to him on a regular basis and has done so the last couple of days.”Asked about Morgan’s storming off the set of the ITV morning show, she said: “I didn’t actually see that.”
But the CEO argued that “it was a very balanced show this morning” that tried to live up to ITV’s goal of representing “many voices.” Asked if Morgan’s reaction was part of media theater, she said there was “nothing manufactured” there.
“Piers is a freelance presenter for ITV,” McCall said when pressed about the host’s Twitter feed. She added “we have absolutely no say or control” over his Twitter, “it’s his personal account.”
His comments on ITV shows though are “different,” McCall said, which is why “Kevin Lygo is discussing it with Piers,” she acknowledged. McCall added that Morgan on Tuesday morning “qualified” his comments on Markle, saying he generally doesn’t believe her but does believe her comments on suicidal thoughts.
Asked if Morgan would lose his ITV job over the issue or if she was backing him, McCall said: “We are dealing with that as we speak” and “I’m not making any comments on this.”