Plug pulled on Piers Morgan TV show

Piers Morgan's prime-time talk show has been cancelled with the journalist admitting the audience in the United States is getting "tired" of him.

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The former newspaper editor joined US channel CNN in a blaze of publicity three years ago to take over from veteran Larry King, but his show has struggled in the ratings with initial audiences of two million falling to around 270,000.

The 48-year-old told The New York Times that he and CNN president Jeff Zucker were discussing a new role for him at the channel, where his contract ends in September, but admitted his brash British approach had alienated viewers.

Morgan's campaigning stance in favour of gun control has led to some high-profile clashes with opponents and hundreds of thousands people signed a petition calling for him to be deported.

One of the petition's organisers, Alex Jones, appeared on the Morgan show which ended in a shouting match with Jones warning him: "Don't try what your ancestors did before."

Morgan told the New York Times: "It's been a painful period and lately we have taken a bath in the ratings.

"Look, I am a British guy debating American cultural issues, including guns, which has been very polarising, and there is no doubt that there are many in the audience who are tired of me banging on about it.

"That's run its course and Jeff and I have been talking for some time about different ways of using me."

The New York Times' media journalist David Carr also suggested Morgan's obsession with cricket - he regularly takes to Twitter in support of his friend Kevin Pietersen - was not helping.

He said: "Mr Morgan might want to lay off the steady cricket references if he is worried about his credibility with American audiences."

Morgan, whose Twitter profile says 'One day you're the cock of the walk, the next a feather duster', has previously said he would "be taken out of CNN kicking and screaming".

The channel said the date of the final edition of Piers Morgan Live has yet to be decided and did not comment on any future plans.

Earlier this month, Morgan - former editor of the Daily Mirror - confirmed he had been questioned over claims of phone hacking.

He was interviewed under caution at the end of last year by officers investigating claims of illegal interception of voicemails by Mirror Group journalists.

The Mirror Group was brought into the phone-hacking investigation for the first time in March last year when detectives from Operation Weeting arrested four journalists in dawn raids.

Morgan - known for reducing guests to tears on his ITV show Life Stories - has said in the past he believes he is the best at his job in Britain.

He said he rated Michael Parkinson but said he thought he was better than everyone else.

Asked in October last year whether he was now the best TV interviewer in Britain, Morgan boasted: ''Yes, because I don't think that my so-called rivals do what I do.

''I'm the only person who sits down with people on TV for two or three hours to truncate to a one-hour show. So I think I'm almost in a category of my own.''

Morgan told the Radio Times: ''I can't compete with Graham Norton for the comedy he brings and I think he's got a terrific show. Or Jonathan Ross. Or Alan Carr. They're all entertainers and comedians, really.

''They're not any of them particularly great interviewers. I don't think they profess to be. Parky could do both.''

Asked whether he would like to be the next Parky, Morgan replied: ''No. He might like to be the next Piers Morgan. I like Parky but he doesn't think anyone else could ever come anywhere close to being as good as him.''


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