Piers Morgan petitions pass 360,000 signatures: Calls grow for host to return to GMB as ITV breakfast show continues to lose ratings war with BBC
- At least five web pages have been set up to get the star presenter back on GMB
- GMB continues to trail behind BBC Breakfast in its battle for morning viewers
- Only 840,000 tuned in on Thursday, compared to 1.49million on rival channel
Petitions to get Piers Morgan reinstated on Good Morning Britain have surpassed 360,000 signatures.
At least five web pages have been set up to get the star presenter back on ITV’s flagship breakfast programme.
It comes as GMB continues to trail behind BBC Breakfast in its battle for morning viewers.
Only 840,000 tuned in on Thursday, compared to 1.49million on the rival channel – after the programme lost almost 40 per cent of its audience when Mr Morgan quit.
Thursday’s broadcast of the ITV morning show did pull in more viewers its 800,000 audience on Wednesday, which had been GMB’s lowest-recorded show by ratings service Overnights.TV over the last four weeks.
The programme, hosted by Kate Garaway and Susanna Reid, would not normally feature Piers, who was the regular host on Mondays to Wednesdays.
At least five web pages have been set up to get the star presenter back on ITV’s flagship breakfast programme
Fierce rivals BBC Breakfast have remained steadily ahead in the ratings war since Morgan’s departure, attracting 650,000 more viewers than GMB on Thursday with 1.49million – the same it scored for its Wednesday show.
Meanwhile Morgan’s latest offering of his Life Stories series brought in 2.3million viewers last night, making it the most-watched programme during that slot.
He acknowledged the achievement yesterday, Tweeting: ‘My Life Stories show with Coleen Nolan was the highest-rated of this series & won the 9pm slot by miles. Thanks for watching!’
An ITV source said Thursday’s GMB figures were a rise on the same day last year and they were an improvement on the previous Thursday’s numbers.
In general the GMB audience is now down by 450,000 from the 1.29million who tuned in on Tuesday of last week – which was the first time the ITV broadcast had beaten its long-time rival BBC Breakfast, which had 1.25million.
That episode of GMB turned out to be Morgan’s final programme before he quit the show after claiming he didn’t ‘believe a word’ Meghan Markle said during her Oprah Winfrey interview, first broadcast on CBS on March 7.
The changing figures over the past week suggest GMB has lost hundreds of thousands of viewers who would either not normally be watching breakfast TV, or who had switched from watching BBC to ITV in the morning.
But sources at ITV pointed out that the comparison was being made in the context of last week having the two highest-rated shows since GMB launched in 2014, on the Tuesday and Wednesday.
The latter was presented by Ranvir Singh and Susanna Reid. The sources added all GMB audience figures are still up year-on-year. Thursday was also the 14th time this year the GMB audience has been below 800,000.
A GMB spokesman told MailOnline today: ‘In real terms GMB share of viewing continues to grow.
‘This week so far is up 7 per cent when compared to the same days last year, and year to date share of viewing is up 18 per cent when compared to the same period in 2020.’
Meanwhile ITV’s share price yesterday was up by 1.3 per cent or 1.55p to nearly £1.24 on the FTSE 250 index in London this morning, having fallen to just above £1.22 at the close Thursday.
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