Piers Morgan has hit out at ITV after the broadcaster said in a statement that there are ‘no current plans’ to bring him back to Good Morning Britain amid Ofcom’s ruling about his Meghan Markle remarks.
Earlier this year, Piers quit GMB after being heavily criticised for his remarks about the Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, when he expressed doubt over her claim that she suffered suicidal thoughts.
It was reported at the time that Piers, 56, quit after ‘refusing to apologise to Meghan on-air’, with sources claiming his refusal to apologise was the reason for his abrupt exit.
When news of Ofcom’s ruling was announced, Piers tweeted a request to return to his GMB post, writing: ‘This is a resounding victory for free speech and a resounding defeat for Princess Pinocchios. Do I get my job back?’
While some people may think that the watchdog’s ruling could result in Piers eventually going back to GMB, a source from ITV stressed that there are ‘no current plans’ for him to be invited back.
Following the release of ITV’s statement, Piers called out the firm on Twitter over the company’s claim that Ofcom only ruled in his favour because his ‘colleagues expressed different opinions’ to his.The ITV source said that the firm accepted Piers’ decision to leave the programme, adding that the firm will continue to work with him on Life Stories.
In a statement, ITV said that the firm welcomed the ruling from Ofcom that Piers’ remarks on GMB did not break broadcasting guidelines.
‘We welcome the Ofcom ruling that Good Morning Britain did not breach the broadcast standards relating to harm and offence,’ the broadcaster said.
‘The ruling sets out clearly that it was the balance and context the programme makers provided which was key in mitigating against the potential for harm and offence which could have been caused by Piers Morgan’s comments.’
ITV added that it was ‘because of the programme’s editorial decisions and the opposing viewers which were forcefully expressed by other presenters and guests, that the programme did not breach Ofcom’s rules’.
Following the release of ITV’s statement, Piers called out the company on Twitter, writing: ‘Hmmm, ITV have just put out a statement saying I only won the @Ofcom case against Princess Pinocchio because my colleagues expressed different opinions to mine. That’s not what the @Ofcom report says in its conclusion. I suggest ITV reads it again.’
He later shared another tweet making a dig at the Duchess of Sussex while promoting himself as a nominee at this year’s National Television Awards.
‘I imagine the only thing that could irritate Princess Pinocchio more than me winning my @Ofcom case against her would be me winning Presenter of the Year at this year’s National TV Awards…. So vote away!’ he wrote.
In its 97-page ruling, Ofcom said that while Piers’ comments on Meghan did not breach the broadcasting code, the remarks were ‘potentially harmful and offensive’.
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What is Ofcom and what does it cover?
Ofcom is the regulator for the communications services that we use and rely on each day.
The watchdog makes sure people get the best from their broadband, home phone and mobile services, as well as keeping an eye on TV and radio.
Ofcom deals with most content on television, radio and video-on-demand services, including the BBC. However, if your complaint is about something you saw or heard in a BBC programme, you may need to complain to the BBC first.
Its rules for television and radio programmes are set out in the Broadcasting Code.
The rules in the Broadcasting Code also apply to the BBC iPlayer.
This Broadcasting Code is the rule book that broadcasters have to follow and it covers a number of areas, including; protecting the under-18s, protecting audiences from harmful and/or offensive material and ensuring that news, in whatever form, is reported with due accuracy and presented with due impartiality.
Audiences can complain to Ofcom if they believe a breach of the Broadcasting Code has been made.
Every time Ofcom receives a complaint from a viewer or listener, they assess it to see if it needs further investigation.
If Ofcom decide to investigate, they will include the case in a list of new investigations, published in the Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin.
An investigation is a formal process which can take some time depending on the complexity of the issues involved.
Ofcom can also launch investigations in the absence of a complaint from a viewer or listener.