Piers Morgan defends Jeremy Clarkson over 'being cancelled by ITV' despite feud03/07/2023
Piers Morgan has come to his former rival Jeremy Clarkson’s defence following reports claiming he had been axed as host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, comparing their situations as ‘cancelled by ITV’.
It was recently alleged that the host’s time on the ITV programme had come to an end after the controversy that his hateful column about Meghan Markle sparked earlier this year.
Clarkson wrote that he ‘hated’ Meghan on a ‘cellular level’, and ‘dreamt’ of her being ‘paraded’ through the streets with ‘excrement’ being thrown at her, later saying that he was ‘profoundly sorry’ for the article which became the most-complained-about-article ever at the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso).
The Sun also apologised and said it regretted the publication of the column, which was removed online.
While speaking to Variety, head of ITV Carolyn McCall confirmed that the broadcaster had contracted Clarkson for the next season of the programme, but no further commitments had been made with the TV personality as of yet.
‘We have a contract. We’re contracted to this [season], so we will do that. And then we have no future commitments. And we haven’t made any statements about that,’ she said.
As speculation spread, Clarkson himself took to Twitter to deny the reports, writing: ‘So many kind messages about today’s reports. But relax. Lisa and I have not split up and I have not been sacked as host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.’
Clarkson was also referring to the apparent rumour that he and his partner Lisa Hogan, who he’s been in a relationship with since 2017, had gone their separate ways.
Debating the topic of Clarkson’s alleged ‘cancellation’ on his TalkTV programme Uncensored, Morgan disputed contributor Dr Tessa Dunlop’s accusation that he was ‘past his prime’, replying: ‘He’s not actually, I think his farm thing’s doing really well,’ referencing Clarkson’s Farm on Prime.
He also brought up Clarkson’s apology for what he wrote about Meghan Markle and commented: ‘My issue with the whole woke brigade is that even when you do issue a grovelling apology it’s never enough. The never accept it; they throw it back in your face.
‘Is it right for a clumsy, stupid, bad joke – it was intended as a joke, no one supports it – but should he actually lose his ITV contract?’
Morgan later commented: ‘I can’t believe that I’m the one that’s got the scar on his head from his fist and I’m the one defending him!’
He and ex-Top Gear star Jeremy had a long-standing feud that even infamously blew up into physical fights over the years, but they appear to have buried the hatchet more recently and leave it at good-natured sniping these days.
When it was suggested that Morgan could be Clarkson’s replacement on the popular quiz show, he quipped: ‘Actually, now you’re talking! I could make my ITV comeback – Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’
ITV have since clarified the future of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and Clarkson on Wednesday night, saying that ‘for the avoidance of doubt, neither Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? nor Jeremy Clarkson have been cancelled’.
A spokesperson for ITV said: ‘As we have said for several weeks, ITV is contractually committed to a further series of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? (which has now been recorded.)
‘There are no further commissioning commitments beyond that currently as is typical with such shows where we make commissioning decisions on a series by series basis.
‘Therefore, for the avoidance of doubt, neither Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? nor Jeremy Clarkson have been cancelled.’
ITV boss Kevin Lygo previously said Clarkson’s comments about Meghan were ‘awful’, but ‘at the moment’ the broadcaster plans to keep him as host of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
Uncensored airs on TalkTV weeknights at 8pm. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire airs on ITV and is available to watch on ITVX.
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