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Sunday 29th March 2020

ITV defends Piers Morgan in apology statement about him 'mocking' Chinese language

More than 1500 complaints were made to Ofcom, it is reported

ITV has defended Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan, several weeks after he was accused of 'mocking' the Chinese language.

Over 1500 complaints are reported to have been made to Ofcom over the matter which aired on January 21.

Outraged viewers called for Piers to be fired from the show on social media as he was accused of being 'stuck in the past'.

Piers’ referred to "ching chong ching" as he ranted about Peter Phillips, the son of Princess Anne, appearing in an advert for a Chinese dairy farm - and ITV has admitted it "regrets" offence caused by his words.

Read more: Piers Morgan demands apology from GMB co-star as he gets 'fat-shamed'

However, the statement also defended the 54-year-old daytime TV presenter and ex newspaper editor by insisting Piers’ mimicking of a Chinese action was a "spontaneous reaction".

The statement reads: "GMB is known for its lively and robust discussion of the news agenda and recently covered Peter Phillips' appearance in a Chinese milk advertisement.

GMB is known for its lively and robust discussion of the news agenda.

"The discussion was focused on whether it was appropriate for members of the Royal family to endorse products abroad in this manner, and was live and unscripted.

"Piers Morgan's comments, and his mimicking of the Chinese language in the advertisement, was a spontaneous reaction to the advertisement.

'What's the name of it? Ching chong ching?' (Credit: ITV)

Read more: Piers Morgan jokes he's considering self-isolation over coronavirus fears after kissing Peter Andre

"These comments were intended to mock a member of the Royal Family and were not intended to mock or denigrate Chinese people, their language or accent.

"ITV regrets any offence Piers' comments may unintentionally have caused."

ED! has approached ITV and a representative for Piers for further comment.

At the time, Piers; fellow GMB host Susanna Reid didn’t seem very impressed with his comments, either - but Piers later insisted he was only targeting Chinese milk, not Chinese people, with his remark.

Susanna sighed at him: "Taking the Mickey out of foreign languages is rather 1970s."

However, Piers later tweeted out: "I was mocking a member of the British royal family appearing in an advert for Chinese state milk, not Chinese people."

Piers had managed to crowbar in a dig to to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as he spouted his tirade against milk fan Peter.

Piers insisted he was mocking Chinese people (Credit: ITV)

He banged on: "I like Peter Phillips, I met him at a lunch last year, but that is not a good look for the royals. Flogging Chinese State owned milk - it's a state-owned dairy farm.

"The big question for Meghan and Harry in their brave new world where they think it's going to be ethical and lovely but people are going to be chucking millions at them like Peter Phillips because he's royal.

"He's a nice guy, he's not a HRH - the problem is other people. All these actors go to China to do these terrible ads thinking we'd never see them and Peter thinks the same."

Piers continued: "Oh Peter, for God’s sake man. This is the problem. People want association with the royals, they want to exploit them. He should be flogging milk made here.

"What's the name of it? Ching chong ching?"

- Good Morning Britain airs on weekdays from 6am

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