ENTERTAINMENT
17/03/2021 17:11 GMT | Updated 17/03/2021 17:19 GMT

Piers Morgan's Outburst Against Meghan Markle Is Ofcom's Most Complained-About Issue Ever

The presenter left Good Morning Britain shortly after Ofcom announced it was launching an investigation.

Piers Morgan’s outburst against Meghan Markle last week has become the most complained-about incident in Ofcom’s history.

On Monday 8 March, the former Good Morning Britain presenter came under fire when he cast doubt on recent comments made by the Duchess of Duchess about her mental health.

During the live broadcast, Piers and co-host Susanna Reid were shown a clip of Meghan telling Oprah Winfrey she’d experienced “suicidal thoughts” after joining the Royal Family.

Meghan said in the footage: “I went to the institution. And I said that I needed to go somewhere to get help. I said that I’d never felt this way before, and I need to go somewhere. And I was told that I couldn’t, because it wouldn’t be good for the institution.” 

Shutterstock/ITV
Piers Morgan on what would prove to be his penultimate episode of Good Morning Britain

Reacting to the clip live on air, Piers said he “[doesn’t] believe a word [Meghan] says”, adding: “I wouldn’t believe her if she read me a weather report, and the fact that she’s fired up this onslaught against our Royal Family, I think, is contemptible.” 

Days later, it was revealed that Ofcom had received more than 40,000 complaints, and would be launching an investigation under its harm and offence rules.

On Wednesday, this figure was updated to 57,121, with an Ofcom spokesperson stating: “We can confirm that this issue has attracted the highest number of complaints since our reporting began.”

The 2007 series of Celebrity Big Brother previously held the dubious record of being Ofcom’s most complained-about incident, due to the treatment of Shilpa Shetty by fellow housemates Jade Goody and Danielle Lloyd.

Dismissing people’s concerns about his comments, Piers tweeted: “Only 57,000? I’ve had more people than that come up & congratulate me in the street for what I said. The vast majority of Britons are right behind me.”

Shortly after Ofcom announced their investigation was going ahead, it was confirmed that Piers was leaving GMB after six years with the breakfast TV show.

CBS/ITV
Meghan Markle during her interview with Opra Winfrey.

Piers insisted the morning after that his departure was “amicable”, but later claimed he had “lost” his job because he’d refused to apologise for his actions.

Ofcom confirmed last week that Meghan Markle was among those to have complained about Piers’ comments, with a rep stating: “We can confirm receipt of a standards complaint made on behalf of the Duchess of Sussex.”

Good Morning Britain airs every weekday from 6am on ITV.

Useful websites and helplines

Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393.

Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill).

CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) offer a helpline open 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year, on 0800 58 58 58, and a webchat service.

The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email help@themix.org.uk

Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0808 801 0525 (Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on rethink.org.