The real reason Piers Morgan quit Good Morning Britain has been revealed.
The divisive TV host chose to walk away from the high-profile gig after bosses told him he had to apologise on air for his comments about Meghan Markle.
Morgan once again blasted Prince Harry and Meghan on the UK TV show and eventually stormed off the set when his co-host Alex Beresford condemned his repeated attacks on the couple.
Ofcom, the UK regulatory authority for the TV industry, received more than 40,000 complaints about Morgan's comments about Meghan and Harry.
The broadcasting regulator announced it would launch an investigation into the comments under its "harm and offence" rules.
An ITV source told the Sun: "Piers was not going to back down. He was asked to make an apology but refused. He says he is entitled to his opinion and is always going to stand by it.
"When he refused to apologise, there was a stand-off. And ultimately it ended with him telling producers he would not host the show any more.
"His contract was coming to an end this year anyway, but he said he wouldn't do the job unless it was on his terms.
"The growing pressure from building Ofcom complaints and a swell of anger on social media gave bosses no choice but to try and get him to apologise.
"Unfortunately there were also a lot of concerns raised with the GMB production team too."
Morgan's exit from Good Morning Britain was announced by ITV: "Following discussions with ITV, Piers Morgan has decided now is the time to leave Good Morning Britain. ITV has accepted this decision and has nothing further to add."
The attacks that brought Piers down
Morgan was certainly a prolific Meghan critic – on TV, social media, and as a Daily Mail columnist.
Screenshots circulating on Twitter today show just how many column inches Morgan has dedicated to scathing attacks on Meghan and Harry.
In case you don't have a magnifying glass handy, here's a brief sample of the headlines above:
"Harry and Meghan are grasping, selfish, deluded Royal Hustlers"
"Harry and Meghan should stop behaving like whiny spoiled brats"
"Harry and Meghan are the world's most tone-deaf, hypocritical, narcissistic, deluded, whiny brats"
"Meghan Markle is a ruthless social climbing actress"
… and on it goes.
As Lisa Wilkinson put it:
Why does Piers hate Meghan so much?
Setting aside accusations that he is racist and a misogynist, the pair have history. They began talking in September 2015 when Morgan followed the actor on Twitter and she sent him a direct message that read: "Well hello there – thanks for the follow. Big fan of yours!"
The pair apparently exchanged messages and emails over the next year and a half and had "amusing" debates about Suits storylines before meeting at Morgan's local pub in Kensington, west London, in June 2016, the Mirror reports.
Morgan described Meghan as an "old mate" on GMB in 2017, adding: "We had 90 minutes in my local pub over a dirty martini and a pint of hand-pumped Harvey's.
"Trust me I'll be milking that 90 minutes if she becomes our princess for the rest of my days."
He said they were "great buddies" and revealed he was pushing for Prince Harry to propose to her.
"My take on her was she's very beautiful, she's very intelligent, she's 35, she's been divorced, her dad's white her mum's black and she had some problems with that growing up," he said at the time.
"I was really impressed. I thought she was a very nice woman, very suited to Harry and different, bi-racial, an actress."
However, Morgan also claims that after their meetup, Meghan went to a private members' club to see Prince Harry and then "went cold", with the pair never speaking again.
"She met Prince Harry at the dinner that night, went on a solo date with him the next night, and I never heard from her again. Not a word. I'd been ghosted," he said.
When Harry and Meghan announced their engagement in November 2017, Morgan playfully tweeted: "Hearty congratulations, Harry, you picked a real keeper (even if your romance did destroy my beautiful friendship with the amazing Meghan Markle)."
But for some reason, Morgan turned on Meghan in 2018. He criticised the actress for not rushing to the US to see her dad when he was undergoing heart surgery.
Things then went from bad to worse when the couple announced they were stepping back as senior royals, with Morgan calling them "grasping, selfish, scheming Kardashian-wannabes".
What followed was several years of relentless attacks on Harry and Meghan that ultimately cost the broadcaster his job.