Morgan’s sudden GMB exit reveals a media world that could have been scripted by Netflix

Meghan Markle, aka the duchess of Sussex (for now anyway) is taking a few media scalps – the latest being Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan. Earlier this week it was announced that the Mail on Sunday newspaper would have to apologise on the front page after she won a legal action against it (although the judge didn’t need the assistance of a full court hearing with witnesses.)

There may be an even bigger scalp in the offing of course as the British royal family reels from her supposed revelations in the bombshell weekend interview with Oprah Whinfrey.


Morgan said he didn’t believe a word of it although he later said he wasn’t challenging her description of her own mental health (she said Buckingham Palace’s behaviour made her feel suicidal.)

Good Morning Britain broadcaster ITV will be breathing a big sigh of relief although Morgan is credited with driving up GMB’s viewing figures. Morgan has an incendiary effect most places he goes. He lost the Mirror newspaper editorship over some pictures of British troops which turned out be fake (although his campaign against the war in Iraq was a noble one), left CNN’s Tonight Show when his campaign against US gun laws (or the lack ,of them) became too controversial for some and now, after five years of livening up British mornings three days a week, has taken on Megan and lost.

Controversial outspoken journalists and presenters are only one “mistake” from the boot as their masters yearn for a quieter life. ITV has been running a ‘Get Britain Talking’ campaign with charity Mind for the last year or so, so his views on Markle’s veracity were bound to cause an upheaval. ITV also secured the rights to the Whinfrey interview and news arm ITN seems pally with the couple. Morgan’s popular ‘Life Stories’ interviews on ITV will, presumably, remain.

What next for Piers? Well, when his “frenemy” Jeremy Paxman (they once came to blows over a picture of Paxman Morgan ran in the Mirror) fell out with the BBC he upped sticks with his Top Gear pals and departed for Amazon’s zillions. Morgan will surely have lots of offers although, as a gifted campaigning journalist, he has to be careful he doesn’t become a circus act.

As for Markle she’s certainly been cutting a swathe through some notable British institutions. So far public opinion in Britain seems mostly on her and Harry’s side (although, no doubt, there’ll be weekend polls showing a mixed picture.) But the duke and duchess, seemingly happily ensconced in California armed with a massive Netflix contract, have made some powerful enemies.

Don’t think this will end well somehow.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.