UK

Piers Morgan on TV show’s move to YouTube: I’ll keep it uncensored

His big interviews include Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.

Piers Morgan, leaves BBC Broadcasting House
Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg Piers Morgan, leaves BBC Broadcasting House (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Piers Morgan has vowed to “keep it uncensored” as he announced that he would no longer be doing his daily TalkTV show, instead focusing on the Uncensored YouTube channel.

The Piers Morgan Uncensored YouTube channel has built up an audience of 2.35 million subscribers since 2022, with Morgan’s most recent interviewees including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

The TV presenter, 58, cited the “explosive growth” of the YouTube channel in the past year for the digital first move, including “many millions of views for our big interviews and debates” which have generated strong revenue, making the business case for the move “not just compelling but imperative”.

Piers Morgan filming in front of the door to 10 Downing Street
Rishi Sunak 100 days in office Piers Morgan filming in front of the door to 10 Downing Street (James Manning/PA)

He added: “It’s clear there’s a huge global demand for the content we’re making, but the commitment to a daily show at a fixed schedule, with all the editing and time sensitivities that involves, has been an increasingly unnecessary straitjacket.”

Referencing his interview with Mr Sunak, which has clocked up nearly 400,000 views since being posted at 2pm on Monday, he said it “perfectly illustrated where we want to be”.

He added: “Had we waited until 8pm to air it first on TalkTV, it would have been overtaken by the huge breaking news of King Charles’s cancer diagnosis.

“Instead, we simply taped a new show on the royal story which itself then generated over a million views on YouTube, dwarfing the linear ratings.”

His interview with Mr Sunak saw him offering the Prime Minister a £1,000 charity bet that ministers would not be able to send asylum seekers to Rwanda by the time of the election.

The former reality TV judge added: “PMU (Piers Morgan Uncensored) has always had a start-up mentality and this decision to now take ourselves fully digital reflects the reality of where our audience is and where we need to be singularly focused.

“It will make perfect sense to anyone who understands the way modern media – especially TV – is going, and no sense to dinosaurs stuck in their blinkered old ways.

“One thing won’t change though: I’ll keep it uncensored.”

Scott Taunton, executive vice president of broadcasting for News UK, said: “Piers Morgan Uncensored’s newsmaking interviews and debates are attracting millions of views online.

“It is the right decision for PMU to go digital-first, freeing him from a scheduled show so he can create the right content to grow his already huge global online audience.”

Morgan said regular TV scheduling was ‘an increasingly unnecessary straitjacket’
Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg Morgan said regular TV scheduling was ‘an increasingly unnecessary straitjacket’ (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Uncensored, which aired at 8pm, launched in 2022 with an “explosive” interview with its first guest, former American president Donald Trump, and formed part of the primetime launch of TalkTV, a venture from News UK which publishes The Times and The Sun.

Other headline-making interviews from Morgan include the November 2022 sit-down with Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, the full version of which has had nearly six million YouTube views.

The sports star opened up about the death of his newborn son, telling Morgan it was “the most difficult moment that I have had in my life”.

Morgan made headlines in 2021 after leaving ITV breakfast show Good Morning Britain following an on-air clash with weather presenter Alex Beresford over the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.

He said he did not believe Meghan’s claims from the headline-making special, with his comments sparking more than 50,000 complaints – the most in Ofcom’s history.

The watchdog later ruled Good Morning Britain was not in breach of the broadcasting code over Morgan’s comments.

In 1994, aged 29, he was appointed as the editor of the News of the World by Rupert Murdoch and he went on to edit the Daily Mirror from 1995 to 2004.

He appeared as a judge on America’s Got Talent in the US in 2006, and also won the US celebrity version of The Apprentice in 2008, during which he appeared alongside Mr Trump.

Morgan later landed his own show in the country on CNN, titled Piers Morgan Live.

The programme, which regularly featured lively debates on topics such as gun control, ran from 2011 until 2014.