Piers Morgan vows to “cancel cancel culture” with his new TV talkshow and “take those ultra woke lunatics head on.”
The journalist and broadcaster was speaking to Sky News Australia on a visit to the country to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the channel, attending a party at the Sydney Opera House.
And he told News Corp publications, “I’ll be calling out extremists from all sides, not just in Australia but anywhere – and especially those who think cancel culture’s a great idea and want to compel us all to lead their own dreary joyless lifestyles.”
This international TV coverage recognises Morgan’s pulling power since his return from the US in 2014, following his firing from CNN. It is one arm of an extraordinary deal he has signed with his former boss Rupert Murdoch, said to be worth £50million ($67m), which includes regular columns in the UK tabloid newspaper The Sun, the New York Post in the US and a book with Murdoch’s publishing house Harper Collins.
At the time the deal was announced, Morgan said in statement that he wants his show to be “a fearless forum for lively debate and agenda-setting interviews, and a place that celebrates the right for everyone to have an opinion.”
And Murdoch called Morgan “the broadcaster every channel wants but is too afraid to hire.”
Despite the high price he’s paid for Morgan’s services, Murdoch clearly thinks he’s lucked out on the deal, following the TV host’s success at ITV’s breakfast show Good Morning Britain. Initially hired on a part-time basis by the UK’s biggest rival to the BBC, Morgan’s firebrand presence saw ratings go up, and he was praised for his efforts in holding government leaders to account during the COVID-19 epidemic.
However, his success there came to an abrupt end in March 2021, following the airing of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The former newspaper editor stormed off the set and later quit the show after facing criticism for comments he made about the Duchess.
His remarks that he didn’t believe her statements about her suicidal thoughts led to 58,000 viewers, a record number, complaining to the UK’s TV governing body, OFCOM. While the broadcaster ITV was cleared of breaching broadcasting regulations, OFCOM criticised Morgan, deeming his comments to be harmful and offensive, but robustly challenged by his co-presenters.
After appearing on Channel Nine’s breakfast show in Australia, Morgan obliquely referenced his GMB departure, tweeting, “Great to be back on breakfast TV again.. even if I did have to fly 10,000 miles to find a morning show that would let me express my opinions!”
Morgan’s slot on Sky News Australia will see him inherit the seat of shock jock Alan Jones, who was dumped from the channel last year after a dip in audience figures.
TalkTV in the UK will broadcast every weekday evening, with debate shows and news bulletins planned alongside Morgan’s big-ticket show. It will be streamed live in the UK and made widely available on all platforms, including linear TV and OTT.