Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan has pulled out of hosting the RTS programme awards for TV journalism after a campaign was launched to get him banned from the event.
Morgan, who said he agreed to present the event in London on 21 March, has released the following statement on his Facebook page:
“I was recently invited to host the Royal Television Society Programme Awards.
“As someone who has worked in British and American television for most of this Millennium, on a variety of shows, I thought it might be fun and agreed to do it without any fee.
“After my role was announced, a campaign was started to have me banned.
“It suggested that I lack the ‘creative excellence’ criteria required for presenting such an event and therefore my presence would be ‘damaging’ and ‘inappropriate.’
“Further, I have ‘failed to understand a social movement that values equality and diversity of voice.’
“Apparently, this movement does not extend to tolerating my own diverse voice.
“I have no wish to serve as an unnecessary distraction from award winners whose hard work and skill should be celebrated without any of the silly noise this campaign has generated.
“So, I am now withdrawing from hosting the evening.
“Good luck to everyone who has been nominated.”
Awards judge Bonnie Greer said she would not be attending the awards dinners because of Morgan.
His co-host on GMTV Susanna Reid said on Twitter: “There’s a lot that @piersmorgan and I disagree on.
“But as someone who knows what a very good presenter he is, I think this is a real shame.”