Piers Morgan walks off GMB as Alex Beresford brands his behaviour 'diabolical' in wake of Meghan and Harry interview
Piers Morgan has walked off Good Morning Britain as co-presenter Alex Beresford branded his behaviour "diabolical" following comments he made as he discussed the Harry and Meghan interview.
On Monday morning, Morgan delivered a scathing review of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey which had aired overnight in the US and has since been broadcast in the UK.
During the interview, the couple, now living in the US, made a number of explosive revelations, among them an allegation that a member of the family – not the Queen or Duke of Edinburgh – had made a racist comment about their unborn son, Archie.
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While Prince Harry also said racism from the tabloid press that filtered into the rest of society was a "large part" of why he and his wife left the UK.
The Duke of Sussex went on to call the UK tabloid media "bigoted", adding it creates a "toxic environment" of "control and fear".
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However, addressing Harry and Meghan's treatment by the press, Morgan said that senior members of the royal family "get a much fairer crack of the whip" than they did in the "Diana era" when "it got out of hand".
Speaking about the death of Diana, the 55-year-old former newspaper editor said Harry "couldn't let it go", but "William went through the same thing and he's managed to come to terms with the media and he works with the media".
Weather presenter Beresford then interjected and said the Royal couple had "had an overwhelming amount of negative press".
"There was bad press around the engagement... and everything that has followed since."
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He added this had "been incredibly damaging, quite clearly, to Meghan’s mental health and also to Harry...
“And I hear Piers say William has gone through the same thing but, do you know what, siblings experience tragedy in their life and one will be absolutely fine and brush it off and the other will not be able to deal with it so strongly and that is clearly what has happened with Harry in this situation.
“He walked behind his mother’s coffin at a tender, tender age in front of the globe. That is going to shape a young boy for the rest of his life, so I think we all need to take a step back, and 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 or had one and she cut you off.
"She’s entitled to cut you off if she wants to. Has she said anything about you since she cut you off?
"I don’t think she has but yet you continue to trash her…”
Morgan then stood up and said: “OK, I’m done with this” and walked off set, saying: “Sorry, no… sorry, can’t do this…” as he stormed off set as Beresford called his actions "diabolical behaviour".
Co-host Susanna Reid then called an advert break.
Following the break and a news segment, Morgan had returned to the desk.
As Reid said the show had raised some "enormous issues", Beresford said they "could be overcome".
As Morgan attacked him for a "personally derogatory monologue aimed at one of your colleagues", Beresford said that was not what he intended.
He continued that the Meghan and Harry interview was "very personal for me".
Beresford, who is mixed race, continued that he is "tired" of having to explain to people the issues raised in the programme.
He revealed that a former colleague had asked him if he was worried about "what shade of cocoa" his son would be, "so I fully understand the hurt that is behind all of that".
He continued that "when you are a lighter shade of black people gain confidence and feel they can say things to you that they wouldn't say to a black person and that is my experience of all of this".
He told Morgan he needed to be "aware of the power of your words".
The ITV programme host’s scathing comments on Monday drew criticism from mental health charity Mind.
The charity criticised Morgan and said it was “disappointed and concerned” by his comments after Meghan said she had had suicidal thoughts.
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It added: “It’s vital that, when people reach out for support or share their experiences of ill mental health, they are treated with dignity, respect and empathy.”
On the show on Tuesday, Morgan also addressed his previous comments regarding the Duchess’s mental health that had come under fire.
He said: “When we talked about this yesterday, I said as an all-encompassing thing I don’t believe what Meghan Markle is saying generally in this interview, and I still have serious concerns about the veracity of a lot of what she said.
“But let me just state on the record my position about mental illness and on suicide. These are clearly extremely serious things that should be taken extremely seriously, and if someone is feeling that way they should get the treatment and help they need every time…”
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Buckingham Palace has not yet responded to the Sussexes’ interview.
ITV Chief Executive Carolyn McCall said she has not spoken to Piers Morgan after he walked off the set or seen GMB yet as she had been presenting the group's annual results to the media.
But she said ITV Managing Director of Media and Entertainment Kevin Lygo “is discussing it with Piers”.
She insisted it is a “balanced show”.
She said: “ITV has many voices and we try and represent many voices every day. It’s not about one opinion.”
She insisted Morgan walking off set was not “manufactured”.
On Morgan’s earlier comments saying he did not believe the Duchess of Sussex, Ms McCall said: “I completely believe what she (Meghan) said. It’s important everyone does.”
Oprah With Meghan and Harry is available to watch on demand on ITV Hub for viewers in the UK.