Viewership for the ITV breakfast show has been in steady decline since Piers Morgan quit back in March, after peaking at 1.9 million viewers days before he left the show.
It comes after Piers himself claimed ITV bosses have been in touch asking him to return to the show, after he sensationally quit following his comments about Meghan Markle and subsequent onscreen clash with co-star Alex Beresford.
Disappointing: Good Morning Britain’s ratings have plunged to a record low, as just 450,000 viewers tuned into Tuesday’s episode
Tuesday’s GMB was hosted by Adil Ray and Ranvir Singh, with a small number of viewers watching following the May Bank Holiday.
A mere 450,000 viewers tuned into the programme, one of the lowest figure in the show’s seven-year history, and a far cry from the heyday when Piers was on the panel.
It was just twelve weeks earlier that GMB brought in its highest ever viewership, with a peak of 1.9 million viewers watching the panel react to the Megan and Harry Oprah interview which had aired overnight. Its viewership averaged out at 1,151,400 million.
Dropping: Viewership for the ITV breakfast show has been in steady decline since Piers Morgan quit back in March, after peaking at 1.9 million viewers days before he left the show
The following day, March 9, an average of 1.29 million viewers saw Piers storm off GMB after clashing with Alex Beresford about the Meghan and Harry interview following its broadcast on UK screens.
That programme ended up being Piers’ last, as just hours later he announced he’d quit the show.
Following news that Piers had quit, the first show following his exit on March 10 saw ratings quickly take a hit, with an average of 1.24 million viewers watching Susanna react to her presenting partner’s exit alongside stand-in Ranvir Singh.
At odds: Piers stormed off GMB in March as he discussed the Harry and Meghan interview, where he expressed his belief that Meghan was lying during the chat with Oprah Winfrey
Numbers continued to slide as the week went on, and by the week’s end ratings had slipped to just 850,000 viewers.
By Monday March 15, average viewers were down by 255,700 compared to the previous Monday.
Since then numerous presenters have filled Piers’ spot, while producers reportedly search for a permanent replacement to begin work in September.
Last week Piers claimed ITV bosses had been in touch asking him to return to GMB, telling The Sun he believes he could ‘take the ratings back to where he left them’ after a slump in viewing figures.
A return? Last week Piers claimed ITV bosses had been in touch asking him to return to GMB, telling The Sun he believes he could ‘take the ratings back to where he left them’
He said: ‘They reached out — there have been approaches. Never say never.
‘I have no doubt I could take the ratings back to where I left them — but the doubt is, would anyone be allowed to do it that way again?
‘I was hired to give very strong, honestly held opinions, which I did. But in the end I was asked to apologise for a genuinely held opinion.’
He added: ‘I have had some quite random third-party feelers put out to see if I would consider a return to the show.’
Piers stormed off GMB in March as he discussed the Harry and Meghan interview, where he expressed his belief that Meghan was lying during the chat with Oprah Winfrey and that the couple damaged the royal family’s reputation.
The outspoken host left the daytime series after he insisted he ‘didn’t believe a word’ of Meghan’s account of suffering suicidal thoughts and experiencing racism at the hands of the royal family.
Decline: Piers’ final episode was a ratings hit, beating BBC Breakfast’s viewing figures for the first time ever, prompting him to thank the ‘hard work and dedication’ of the production team
Piers then walked off set after a fierce debate with Alex, in which the weather presenter accused Piers of unfairly ‘trashing’ Meghan, and branded him ‘diabolical’.
When Piers walked off screen, Alex continued: ‘I’m sorry but Piers just spouts off on a regular basis and we have to sit there and listen.’
Piers, who refused to apologise, later announced his resignation and tweeted his thanks to the GMB team, praising them for their ‘hard work and dedication’ that led to them beating their main breakfast TV rival.
And Piers shared his own reflections on the events of that fateful week in a piece for the Mail On Sunday shortly afterwards.
Piers called Alex ‘GMB’s occasional stand-in weatherman’ and ‘uptight’ in the telling account, adding that the presenter hasn’t messaged him since his exit unlike others on the show.
Shares in ITV also plunged in the wake of his resignation with almost £200million wiped off the company’s value overnight and share prices dropping by 3.8 per cent.
A TV insider also said a bidding war is now on to secure the services of Piers, who is also Editor at Large for MailOnline.
ITV was also said to be interested in the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire as Piers’ replacement, according to reports.
Derbyshire – who appeared on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity last year – currently presents the news for the BBC after her award-winning current affairs programme was axed last March.
A source told The Sun: ‘ITV producers have been looking for the right platform for Victoria for a while.
‘They think she is a real talent and one of the few opinionated TV journalists who could be a real powerhouse addition to GMB.
‘She’s not afraid to challenge guests, ask tough questions, get straight to the point and wax lyrical about what she believes in. They’re using Piers’ exit as an opportunity to trial new faces.’
Meghan is said to have raised concerns with ITV about the effect Piers’s comments may have on the issue of mental health generally and those attempting to deal with their own problems.
But Piers later repeated his condemnation of her interview when he told reporters outside his West London home: ‘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.’
He said: ‘I won’t be going back, but thanks to everyone who has signed these petitions. Normally, people start petitions to have me fired or deported, so this is a pleasant surprise.’
In a 332-word statement shared on Instagram, the tough-talking journalist thanked his supporters and declared he was ‘willing to stand my ground’.
He wrote: ‘To all my supporters, I just wanted to drop you a note of thanks. (To all my haters, whatever.)
‘It has been an extraordinary week for me, for Britain, for our monarchy and for our future.
‘Those of you that know me well enough know that, despite my many faults, I’m always willing to stand my ground for the things that I think matter most.
Decline: Shares in ITV also plunged in the wake of his resignation with almost £200million wiped off the company’s value overnight and share prices dropping by 3.8 per cent
‘My fervent opposition to the Iraq War led to my demise from the Daily Mirror. My outspoken views on the insanity of American gun laws led to the end of my time at CNN.
‘And now I’ve lost my job at Good Morning Britain because I chose not to apologise for disbelieving Meghan Markle’s claims in her interview with Oprah Winfrey.’
He added: ‘I thus became the latest ”victim” of the cancel culture that is permeating our country, every minute, of every hour, of everyday. Though of course, I consider myself to be neither a victim, nor actually cancelled.
‘However, I do believe the defence of free speech and the right to express honestly held opinions, is the most important issue of my career, and the most important issue in British society.’
Heated exchange between Piers Morgan and Alex Beresford before GMB host walked off set
During a debate about the Sussexes press coverage
Piers: William went through exactly the same thing. And he’s managed to come to terms with the media, and he works with the media and he recognises the media is there actually to perform two roles. One to hold them to account because they’re publicly funded. But secondly he also wants to promote the monarchy, because if the media doesn’t promote the monarchy, the monarchy slowly dies out.
Alex (interjecting): Piers, Piers
Susanna: Alex yes (gesturing for him to speak)
Piers: Well hang on, we’ll come to Alex in a sec
Alex: Oh ok, all right I’ll wait
Piers: Well do you mind waiting?
Alex: Actually I don’t, carry on
Piers: Up to you mate, I was just going to… fine
Susanna: I was going to make the point Alex that something very different happened with Prince Harry was that he was in a relationship with a woman who was very different and they felt the press then turned on them and was racist.
Alex: They have had an overwhelming amount of negative press. I watched the programme yesterday and yes they had some great press around the wedding. But what press is going to trash someone’s special day.
There was bad press around the engagement before the engagement and everything that has followed since has been incredibly damaging, quite clearly to Meghan’s mental health and also to Harry.
And I hear Piers say that William has gone through the same thing but siblings experience through tragedy in their life and one will be absolutely fine and be able to to brush it off but the other won’t be able to deal with it so strongly. And that is clearly what has happened to Harry.
He walked behind his mother’s coffin at a tender age in front of the globe. That is going to shape a young boy for the rest of his life. So I think we all need to take a step back.
I understand that you don’t like Meghan Markle, you’ve made it so clear a number of times on this programme, a number of times. I understand you have a personal relationship with Meghan Markle, or had one, and she cut you off. She’s entitled to cut you off. Has she said anything about you since she cut you off? I don’t think she has. But yet you continue to trash her’.
Piers (getting up from his seat): Ok, I’m done with this.
Alex: No, no, no, oh that’s pathetic.
Piers: Sorry. You can trash me mate but not on my own show. See you later (walking off set)
Alex: This is absolutely diabolical behaviour. I’m sorry but Piers just spouts off on a regular basis and we have to sit there and listen. 6.30 to 7am yesterday was incredibly hard to watch. He has the ability to come in here and talk from a position where he doesn’t fully understand’
Alex: And I’m absolutely…
Susanna: OK, I think we all need to take a break
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