GMB wins ratings war with BBC Breakfast on Piers Morgan's last day

GMB wins ratings war with BBC Breakfast on Piers Morgan’s last day: ITV’s morning show beat rival for first time since 2017 with 2.2M peak audience compared to 1.8M

  • Good Morning Britain had 2.2m viewers at its peak yesterday,  just before 8am 
  • BBC’s morning show Breakfast pulled in 1.8 million viewers at its 9am peak
  • GMB only ever beaten BBC Breakfast in the ratings war three times in the past
  • Yesterday’s shocking GMB segment saw tough-talking morning show storm off 

Piers Morgan’s divisive final episode of Good Morning Britain was a ratings hit – beating BBC Breakfast viewing figures for the first time since 2017.

At its peak yesterday – just before 8am – Good Morning Britain had 2.2 million viewers tuned in to watch Mr Morgan and co-host Susannah Reid.

Meanwhile, presenters Dan Walker and Louise Minchin on the BBC’s morning show Breakfast pulled in 1.8 million viewers at its 9am peak, figures show.

Mr Morgan took to Twitter today to celebrate his success – after replying to a jibe from Mr Walker who shared a series of Tweets poking fun at the tough-talking morning show host’s departure.

In one, Mr Walker said he was ‘sorry’ to hear about Mr Morgan leaving – before sarcastically offering him a slot on ‘the UK’s number one breakfast show to talk about it’. 

GMB has only ever beaten BBC Breakfast in the ratings war three times in the past – in September 2014, December 2014 and June 2017. 

Yesterday’s shocking GMB segment saw the morning show host storm off camera during a heated on-air row with weatherman Alex Beresford over his criticism of Meghan Markle. 

Piers Morgan’s divisive final episode of Good Morning Britain was a ratings hit – beating BBC Breakfast viewing figures for the first time since 2017

Mr Walker (pictured) shared a picture of himself and Ms Minchin, writing: ‘This was taken a few seconds before I stormed off set because Carol said it was going to be chilly this weekend.’

Mr Morgan took to Twitter today to celebrate his ratings success – after having a brief spat with BBC presenter Dan Walker

Mr Morgan had declared the Duchess of Sussex’s incendiary claims to Oprah about the Royal Family ‘contemptible’ and said: ‘I don’t believe almost anything that comes out of her mouth’ in the show one day prior.

Mr Beresford accused him of unfairly ‘trashing’ Meghan, branding him ‘diabolical’ and saying: ‘I’m sorry but Piers just spouts off on a regular basis and we have to sit there and listen’.

It is understood Mr Morgan had been asked to apologise for his remarks – which had been criticised by mental health campaigners – but had declined and he and ITV had ‘agreed to disagree’.

He took to Twitter today to celebrate his ratings success, writing: ‘Good Morning Britain beat BBC Breakfast in the ratings yesterday for the first time. My work is done.’

Piers Morgan laughs as he leaves his West London home today after quitting GMB in a row sparked by his comments about not believing Meghan Markle, and doubling down today he said: ‘I don’t believe almost anything that comes out of her mouth and I think the damage she’s done to the British monarchy and to the Queen at a time when Prince Philip is lying in hospital is enormous and frankly contemptible’

Mr Morgan also used the social media platform to respond to a jibe from BBC presenter Mr Walker yesterday.

Mr Walker shared a picture of himself and Ms Minchin, sarcastically writing: ‘This was taken a few seconds before I stormed off set because Carol said it was going to be chilly this weekend.’ 

Mr Morgan replied: ‘I’m surprised BBC bosses didn’t storm in and drag you off set after yesterday’s ratings came in.’

Mr Walker hit back, writing: ‘Congratulations on your ratings.

Mr Morgan has now doubled down on his comments about Meghan Markle after dramatically storming out of the Good Morning Britain studio and quitting the programme. At 6.11am today Mr Morgan tweeted: ‘On Monday, I said I didn’t believe Meghan Markle in her Oprah interview. I’ve had time to reflect on this opinion, and I still don’t. If you did, OK. Freedom of speech is a hill I’m happy to die on. Thanks for all the love, and hate. I’m off to spend more time with my opinions’

Ranvir Singh co-hosted Good Morning Britain with Susanna Reid today after Mr Morgan’s decision to quit the show

‘Ours were good too. In other news… I hope my boss would have dragged me off set if I’d used my platform – on national TV – to tell a pregnant woman, speaking openly about suicidal thoughts, that I didn’t believe a word she said.’

Mr Walker then returned to Twitter to address Mr Morgan, writing: ‘Sorry to hear the news about your departure from GMB.

‘If you’d like to come on the UK’s number one breakfast show to talk about it… we could make some space for you in the morning.’

He then thanked his supporters for their ‘kind comments’, adding: ‘I really appreciate the kind words and I’ll confess to glossing over most of the insults and sweary fury of the last few hours.’

In one final dig, Mr Walker wrote: ‘To all the shouty, sweary people telling me I’m nothing like you know who… Thank you.

‘If you want a programme happy to exploit issues like mental health to create controversy, division and clicks I’m delighted to say… you’re in the wrong place. Have a wonderful Wednesday.’ 

Mr Morgan today doubled down on quitting GMB. 

In their own words: What Piers Morgan and his GMB colleagues have said about his exit and the fallour

Piers Morgan

Piers Morgan labelled the Duchess of Sussex’s comments in her interview with Oprah Winfrey as ‘contemptible’.

Speaking outside his London home after quitting Good Morning Britain on Tuesday, the presenter described his departure from the programme as ‘amicable’, adding: ‘I had a good chat with ITV and we agreed to disagree.’

Morgan added: ‘I’m just going to take it easy and see how we go.

‘I believe in freedom of speech, I believe in the right to be allowed to have an opinion. If people want to believe Meghan Markle, that’s entirely their right.

‘I don’t believe almost anything that comes out of her mouth and I think the damage she’s done to the British monarchy and to the Queen at a time when Prince Philip is lying in hospital is enormous and frankly contemptible.

‘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.’

Piers Morgan said: ‘I think it’s fair to say, although the woke crowd will think that they’ve cancelled me, I think they will be rather disappointed when I re-emerge.

‘I would call it a temporary hibernation.’

He added that he is ‘always in talks with people’.

Asked what he would say to his Good Morning Britain colleague, Alex Beresford, with whom he had a heated debate during Tuesday’s show, Morgan said: ‘Good luck to him.’

Susanna Reid 

Susanna Reid said Good Morning Britain will be ‘very different’ but ‘shows go on’ as she addressed the abrupt departure of her co-host Piers Morgan.

Speaking during Wednesday’s programme, she said: ‘He is without doubt an outspoken, challenging, opinionated, disruptive broadcaster.

‘He has many critics and he has many fans. You will know that I disagreed with him about Meghan’s interview. He himself clarified his comments about her mental health on the show yesterday.

‘There are many voices on GMB and everyone has their say. But now Piers has decided to leave the programme. Some of you may cheer and others may boo.

‘He has been my presenting partner, Monday to Wednesday, for more than five years and during Brexit and the pandemic and other issues, he has been a voice for many of you and a voice that many of you have railed against.

‘It is certainly going to be very different but shows go on and so on we go.’

Reid commented that it had been a ‘rollercoaster ride’, and said: ‘As you know as viewers we have had our disagreements daily. I mean there have been times when I’ve thought we haven’t been able to agree on anything – on and off screen of course, you know that, it’s one of the dynamics of the programme but Piers has made the decision to leave Good Morning Britain and so it is looking very different this morning.’

Ranvir Singh 

Discussing Piers Morgan’s departure, Ranvir Singh said he had ‘ruffled feathers and he shook up everything on breakfast television, on all channels, you know, it wasn’t just about this show, he shook up the landscape of what we do, the nature of what we do, so that can’t be denied…’ 

Ms Singh is amongst the favourites to take the job, but said: ‘I was here anyway, don’t read anything into this, I was here anyway. I’ve shifted seats on this brand new desk. It’s a strange morning for all of us here, but the decision has been made and i think when there are thousands of complaints about something things have to be taken seriously.’

Speaking outside his West London home Mr Morgan told reporters: ‘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 added: ‘I think the damage she’s done to the British monarchy and to the Queen at a time when Prince Philip is lying in hospital is enormous and frankly contemptible’, before revealing that he left on the day more people watched GMB than its BBC rival, five years after Piers transformed the ITV ratings flop. 

In another extraordinary twist, it was claimed by the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian that Meghan made a formal complaint to ITV about Mr Morgan. The broadcaster, who paid £1million to show the Oprah interview, did not deny the claim and representatives for the duchess declined to comment.

The journalist, 55, said he ‘didn’t believe a word she [Meghan] said’ to Oprah and branded her ‘Princess Pinocchio’ after an interview where the Duchess said she was suicidal while five months pregnant and accused the Royal Family of racism. His views sparked more than 41,000 complaints made to Ofcom. 

Mr Morgan described his departure from the programme he helped transform into a ratings hit as ‘amicable’, saying: ‘I had a good chat with ITV and we agreed to disagree.’ 

 He added: ‘I’m just going to take it easy and see how we go. I believe in freedom of speech, I believe in the right to be allowed to have an opinion. 

‘If people want to believe Meghan Markle, that’s entirely their right’. 

And in a message for his critics he said: ‘I think it’s fair to say, although the woke crowd will think that they’ve cancelled me, I think they will be rather disappointed when I re-emerge. 

‘I would call it a temporary hibernation.’

He added that he is ‘always in talks with people’. 

Strictly star Ranvir Singh was in his chair this morning and Susanna Reid admitted it will be a ‘very different’ programme without her co-star of five years and told viewers this morning that he had been a ‘voice for many of you’ through Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic. 

Lorraine Kelly later paid tribute to her ‘loyal friend’ who is ‘always there if you need him’. 

Just after the show began at 6am this morning he tweeted to his 7.8million followers: ‘On Monday, I said I didn’t believe Meghan Markle in her Oprah interview. I’ve had time to reflect on this opinion, and I still don’t. 

‘If you did, OK. Freedom of speech is a hill I’m happy to die on. Thanks for all the love, and hate. I’m off to spend more time with my opinions’. 

He also shared a quote by Winston Churchill, which said: ‘Some people’s idea of free speech is that they are free to say what they like but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage’. 

On an extraordinary day for the show yesterday, Mr Morgan walked off set live on air after the show’s weatherman Alex Beresford accused him of unfairly ‘trashing’ Meghan, branding him ‘diabolical’ and saying: ‘I’m sorry but Piers just spouts off on a regular basis and we have to sit there and listen’. 

Asked what he would say to his Good Morning Britain colleague, Mr Beresford, Mr Morgan said: ‘Good luck to him.’ Mr Beresford was not on screen today, with Laura Tobin presenting the GMB weather this morning. 

Hours later Mr Morgan quit, with his supporters defending his views and claiming his exit is more bad news for free speech and a sad indictment of cancel culture in Britain after critics including Labour MP Dawn Butler encouraged people to complain to ITV and Ofcom. Others have questioned whether GMB’s viewing figures will hold-up without its star, who helped add a million new viewers in his time on the show.

After Ranvir Singh, a GMB reporter and star of Strictly last year, stepped in for Piers today, Susanna then gave a short speech on the tumultuous events of the past 24 hours.

Ms Reid said: ‘A number of people will know the news and many of you will not and will be surprised that Piers Morgan is not here this morning. Now, Piers and I have disagreed on many things and that dynamic was one of the things viewers loved about the programme. 

‘He is without doubt an outspoken, challenging, opinionated, disruptive broadcaster. He has many critics and he has many fans. You will know that I disagreed with him about Meghan’s interview. He himself clarified his comments about her mental health on the show yesterday.’

Reid said there are ‘many voices’ on Good Morning Britain and ‘everyone has their say’. She added: ‘But now Piers has decided to leave the programme. Some of you may cheer and others may boo.

‘He has been my presenting partner, Monday to Wednesday, for more than five years and during Brexit and the pandemic and other issues, he has been a voice for many of you and a voice that many of you have railed against.

‘It is certainly going to be very different but shows go on and so on we go.’

Ranvir Singh, Reid’s co-presenter for the morning, replied: ‘Well said.’ She described Morgan as a ‘big character’ and said ‘many viewers will be absolutely gutted’. Singh called Morgan ‘Marmite’ and acknowledged his role in Good Morning Britain’s success. Ms Singh is amongst the favourites to take the job, but said: ‘I was here anyway, don’t read anything into this, I was here anyway. I’ve shifted seats on this brand new desk’.

Susanna Reid said Good Morning Britain will be ‘very different’ but ‘shows go on’ as she addressed the abrupt departure of her co-host Piers Morgan.

GMB host Alex Beresford had told Piers: ‘ I understand that you don’t like Meghan Markle, you’ve made it so clear a number of times on this programme, and I understand you’ve got a personal relationship with Meghan Markle and she cut you off.’ Shortly after, Piers then stormed out of the studio

It came after 55-year-old Mr Morgan shocked viewers by walking off camera during a heated on-air row with weatherman Alex Beresford, saying ‘I’m done with this’ after being challenged on his position of the Duke and Duchess by his co-star. 

Afterwards ITV CEO Carolyn McCall – who formerly worked for the left-wing Guardian newspaper – said that the broadcaster’s media and entertainment MD Kevin Lygo was speaking to Mr Morgan.

And last night it was announced that Mr Morgan had quit the hugely popular ITV show – which he co-hosted with Susanna Reid.

An ITV spokesman told MailOnline: ‘Following discussions with ITV, Piers Morgan has decided now is the time to leave Good Morning Britain. ITV has accepted this decision and has nothing further to add.’


GMB weatherman Alex Beresford (left) had told Piers (right): ‘ I understand that you don’t like Meghan Markle, you’ve made it so clear a number of times on this programme, and I understand you’ve got a personal relationship with Meghan Markle and she cut you off’ – Pieres wished him the ‘best of luck’ today

It is understood Mr Morgan had been asked to apologise for his remarks which had been criticised by mental health campaigners but had declined.

It brings to an end his six-year long association with the breakfast show, which he originally joined as a guest host in 2015, during which time he has made it must-see TV with a strong of exclusives and his strident opinions.

Ironically it came the day after GMB recorded its highest ever viewing figures in the wake of Megan Markle’s blockbuster Oprah Winfrey interview.

It also came on the day that he had followed up with an agenda-setting interview with her father Thomas in which Mr Markle had taken aim at ‘snotty’ Harry, defended the British people and Royals against her claims of racism and revealed that he felt she had betrayed him, not the other way around.

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