British broadcaster and journalist Piers Morgan, 55, has made it clear for years that he doesn’t trust Prince Harry‘s wife Meghan Markle or her motives. But things came to a boiling point following her Mar. 7 interview with Oprah Winfrey, where the Good Morning Britain host dragged her and Harry the next day for an “absolutely disgraceful betrayal” of the British Royal Family. Things came to a head on Mar. 9 when a colleague called him out on air, causing Piers to storm off the set.
GMB weatherman Alex Beresford goaded Piers live on the air asking, “Has she said anything about you since she cut you off? I don’t think she has, but yet you continue to trash her. I understand that you don’t like Meghan Markle. You’ve made it so clear a number of times on this program.” Piers got up and said, “Okay, I’m done with this, sorry, no, sorry… see you later, sorry, can’t do this,” and walked off the set. Hours later, he quit the show, with GMB‘s network ITV announcing, “ITV has accepted this decision and has nothing further to add.”
Update 3/10/21: After the Good Morning Britain outburst, the UK’s Office of Communications received over 41,000 complaints about Piers Morgan’s behavior, according to The Guardian. One of the complaints was from Meghan Markle herself. The Guardian “understands that a formal complaint was lodged with ITV on behalf of the duchess after the broadcast,” the publication reported on Wednesday (March 10.) The sheer number of complaints prompted the UK’s regulatory organization to “launch an investigation into whether his comments broke the UK broadcasting code relating to harm and offense.” As that’s underway, here are five things to know about Piers.
Piers Morgan just walked off the Good Morning Britain set (!!!) after co-presenter Alex Beresford defended Harry and Meghan and condemned Piers' treatment of them in yesterday's programming pic.twitter.com/mH75J8ND4O
— Chris Rickett (@chrisrickett) March 9, 2021
1. Piers claims Meghan ‘ghosted’ him after they forged a friendship
He initially told the story on a 2018 episode of Ireland’s The Late Late Show with host Ryan Tubridy of how they became Twitter DM friends and she met up with Piers for drinks at his London pub in July of 2016. “She then said I’m coming to London to watch tennis with Serena Williams. She said would you like to meet up for a drink…We had two hours in a pub. She had a couple of dirty martinis and a couple of pints. We got along brilliantly. Then I put her in a cab,” Piers explained.
“And it turned out to be a cab that took her to a party where she met Prince Harry. And then the next night, they had a solo dinner together, and that was the last I ever heard from Meghan Markle. And I have never heard from her again. Meghan Markle ghosted me…I really liked her. This is why it hurts. No…I really liked her. I just think she’s a slight social climber, I’m afraid…I didn’t really like being ghosted like that. I thought it was a strange thing to do.” He’s since brought up Meghan’s alleged “ghosting” him and others numerous times on GMB.
2. Piers is a defender of the British monarchy
He was highly critical of the way Meghan and Harry exited as senior working members of the the BRF, known as Megxit, and how the couple’s decisions since have hurt 94-year-old Queen Elizabeth. Following their Oprah interview, Piers ranted on GMB, “They’ve trashed [Harry’s] dad (Prince Charles), they’ve trashed his brother (Prince William), they’ve trashed his sister-in-law (Kate Middleton). They’ve trashed everything the Queen has worked so hard for and we’re supposed to believe they’re compassionate?” In a tweet after the interview, Piers wrote, “I expect all this vile, destructive, self-serving nonsense from Meghan Markle — but for Harry to let her take down his family and the Monarchy like this is shameful.”
3. Piers took over Larry King’s former CNN show
He replaced Larry King on his hour-long CNN evening interview show Larry King Live — becoming Piers Morgan Live — in Jan. 2011. King had held the position from 1985-2010. Piers was much more outspoken on issues he felt were important as host. “There has been a slight timidity internally in not wanting to be provocative or opinionated on air because you could stray into being partisan,” he told the Hollywood Reporter in Oct. 2012. “If the anchor has taken a position on gun control or abortion, somehow you’re losing that neutrality. I don’t agree. I have become increasingly vocal on my show about these very issues, totally unafraid to say what I think.”
4. Piers began his career in the world of British tabloids
He began working as a writer in 1989 for such publications as The Sun, the Daily Mirror, and News of the World. He was made editor of the latter paper in 1994 when Piers was just 29-years-old. After he left Piers Morgan Live in 2014, the Daily Mail hired Piers as Editor at Large, where he still writes a regular column for the paper and website.
5. Piers won Celebrity Apprentice in 2008 and became pals with Donald Trump
He beat out country singer Trace Adkins for the title, with host Donald Trump calling him “ruthless, arrogant, evil and obnoxious” during the final, which turned out to be compliments in the world of business. Piers and Donald forged a close friendship, though he did not support many of the tycoon’s actions after he became President of the United States in Jan. 2017. Piers finally had enough and became openly critical of Trump’s inept handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020. Following the Jan. 6, 2021 insurgency on the U.S. Capitol by Trump’s supporters after he whipped them up at a rally, Piers called Trump “mentally unfit” to remain as POTUS.