Good Morning Britain staff believe show bosses should ‘swallow their pride’ and bring Piers Morgan back as presenter after his reprieve from Ofcom.
The former presenter, 56, has teased that he is open to getting his old job back after the media watchdog acquitted him of any wrongdoing yesterday after questioning Meghan Markle’s claims about her mental health.
And his ex-colleagues now want him reinstated as a co-presenter alongside Susanna Reid, 50, to boost ratings as the ITV morning show has lost nearly a third of its viewership since it left in March.
A source from the show told MailOnline: “There is a growing movement among staff bidding on Piers to return.
“GMB really hasn’t been the same without him and now that he’s been acquitted by Ofcom, they feel there’s no reason why he can’t be reunited with Susanna.
Presenter Susanna Reid talks about Ofcom’s statement on ITV’s Good Morning Britain today
Good Morning Britain employees desperate for show bosses to ‘swallow their pride’
Mr Morgan, pictured with Mrs Reid in March, stopped in the middle of ITV’s Good Morning Britain
“They appreciate that bosses don’t like making a U-turn, but it will be for the good of the show that to put it bluntly, it needs to be saved.
“They have to swallow their pride and do the right thing for GMB.”
GMB has lost a third of the average monthly audience since Piers Morgan quit in March
Good morning Britain has lost more than a third of its average monthly audience since Piers Morgan quit in March, MailOnline can reveal today.
The ITV breakfast program had an average audience of 883,478 in March, but this was down from just 570,000 in August, a drop of 35.5 per cent or 313,478 viewers in five months.
This is a much bigger drop than that of BBC Breakfast, which lost 227,352 viewers or 15.5 percent of its audience over the same period, from 1,468,261 in March to 1,240,909 in August.
The crowds were much bigger in March as the country was in its third national Covid-19 lockdown, with GMB overtaking BBC Breakfast for the first and only time on March 9 – the day Piers Morgan left the set. On that day, 1,290,000 watched GMB against 1,250,000 votes on BBC Breakfast.
But GMB has lost 86,126 more viewers than BBC Breakfast since March, when this average is compared to the August average. It has also not had a monthly figure above 700,000 since then.
A GMB spokesperson told MailOnline today: “Good Morning Britain’s viewership share is 22 per cent to date, which is in line with 2020 and before that higher than any previous year since launch.
“So, GMB continues to do well in 2021, also posting year-over-year increases for family audiences and 16-34-year-old viewers.”
Morgan jokingly asked ‘will I get my job back?’ in a tweet posted yesterday shortly after the Ofcom ruling was announced, which he described as a “sounding victory for free speech and a resounding defeat for Princess Pinocchios.”
The media regulator authorized ITV and Morgan after receiving a record 58,000 complaints over his comments about Meghan the morning after her interview with Oprah Winfrey aired in the UK.
During her conversation with the American talk show queen, the Duchess claimed that her mental health was getting so bad that she “didn’t want to live anymore” and that she was not getting the help she asked for from Buckingham Palace.
In addition, she also claimed that an unnamed member of the royal family had asked “how dark” her son Archie’s skin could be.
The Duchess also filed a complaint herself with Ofcom and ITV in response to Morgan’s rant when the outspoken host said he “didn’t believe a word she said” and that he “wouldn’t believe it if she read me a weather report”.
The regulator explained their decision to clear Morgan’s of any wrongdoing and said there was “public interest in an open and honest debate” about both mental health and suicide and race.
And on both issues, Ofcom ruled that, despite the potential for insult, Piers’ comments had been sufficiently contextualized by challenges from other presenters and guests and by receiving several contributors who could speak decisively and with authority on racial issues.
Morgan’s heated confrontation with weatherman Alex Beresford, who supported Meghan in her claims, caused the presenter to leave the set before returning to anchor the rest of the show.
And Ofcom also stated that Morgan had “the right” to say that he “did not believe the allegations made by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and had and express strong views that rigorously questioned their account”.
They added that restricting such views would be “an unjustified and horrifying restriction on the freedom of expression of both the broadcaster and the public.”
Despite the outcome of yesterday’s verdict, it was reported that ITV chief executive Kevin Lygo had ‘no plans’ to re-hire Morgan.
Piers Morgan and wife Celia Walden at the GQ Men of the Year Awards in London last night
A senior GMB source told the Sun: “The bosses know they need to give the show a major overhaul and will do so in the coming months.
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“But Piers won’t be involved in that, the chances of him coming back are nil.
“Kevin is a big fan and has always said that, but internally he is unfortunately fighting a losing battle.”
Morgan’s former co-host Reid admitted to GMB this morning that the ruling had left her in an “uncomfortable situation.”
She said: ‘What struck me about the Ofcom ruling, on the one hand I have my friend Piers Morgan, and on the other I have my bosses at ITV.
“So obviously it’s a bit of an awkward moment right now.”
When asked if she was “stunned” Morgan would not be returning to the show this morning, she replied, “It was quite a moment, wasn’t it?”
An ITV spokesperson was contacted by MailOnline today for comment.