GOOD Morning Britain bosses say there is a “slim to no chance” that Piers Morgan will ever return to the ITV show.
Insiders say that the channel’s director of television Kevin Lygo is fighting a “one man mission” to bring him back after he quit last year.
But ITV execs are now looking to formally replace him before the end of the year — with Richard Bacon and MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis the current frontrunners.
They had originally planned to announce his successor this month, but that plan has been pushed back while they trial potential replacements.
GMB regular Ben Shepherd had been mooted as one successor but insiders say he is not in the running.
Their plan is to make it the “Susanna Reid show” – and then add a co-presenter to complement her.
A senior GMB source said: “The bosses know they need to give the show an entire refresh and will do so in the next couple of months.
“That’s not going to involve Piers though, the chances of him returning are slim to zero. Kevin is a big fan and has always said so, but he’s fighting a losing battle internally sadly.
“Initially they had planned to do it in September but it’s such a big decision they want to get it right. Ben is just keeping the seat warm for now.
“Richard and Martin are topping the viewer approval ratings at the moment so they’re in the mix and fans will see more of them i nthe next few weeks.
“Execs know the show needs a kick up the a**e so it’ll happen in good time.”
Today, the show’s editor Neil Thompson told staff that the show had been exonerated by the Ofcom report.
Insiders say he informed staff before the announcement was made and that they felt they had handled the debate correctly.
An ITV source said: “Piers decided to leave Good Morning Britain, we accepted his decision, and we have no current plans to invite him to present Good Morning Britain. We will continue to work with Piers on Life Stories.”
An ITV spokeswoman added today: “We welcome the Ofcom ruling that Good Morning Britain did not breach the broadcast standards relating to harm and offence.
“The ruling sets out clearly that it was the balance and context the programme makers provided which was key in mitigating against the potential for harm and offence which could have been caused by Piers Morgan’s comments.
“It is because of the programme’s editorial decisions and the opposing views which were forcefully expressed by other presenters and guests, that the programme did not breach Ofcom’s rules.”