ITV 'regrets' Piers Morgan's mimicking of Chinese language

Piers Morgan even shocked GMB co-host Susanna Reid with his behaviour (ITV)

ITV has said it "regrets" Piers Morgan mimicking the Chinese language on Good Morning Britain.

The 54-year-old presenter mimicked the sound of a Chinese voiceover on the ITV breakfast show on Tuesday, January 21 while discussing the Queen's grandson Peter Phillips starring in an advert for Jersey Fresh Milk.

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

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Piers Morgan (centre), editor of The Mirror, leaves the High Court in London after supermodel Naomi Campbell won 3,500 damages from the newspaper following a ruling that it acted in breach of confidence in publishing details of her therapy at Narcotics Anonymous.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson (left) with Piers Morgan during a party to celebrate the 180th Anniversary of weekly politics magazine The Spectator, held at the Churchill Hyatt Hotel in central London.
Piers Morgan, former Daily Mirror Editor and Arsenal fan
2019 British Academy Britannia Awards - Arrivals - Beverly Hills, California, U.S., October 25, 2019 - Piers Morgan. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Broadcaster Piers Morgan arrives at the BBC to appear on The Andrew Marr Show in London, Britain, January 28, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Britain Golf - British Masters - The Grove, Hertfordshire - 12/10/16 Piers Morgan tees off at the 12th hole during the Pro-Am Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
TV personality Piers Morgan and actor Gerard Butler (R) arrive on the red carpet at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington April 27, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ENTERTAINMENT)
Piers Morgan of CNN arrives for a party thrown by Google and the Hollywood Reporter, on the eve of the annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, at the W Hotel in Washington, April 27, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA POLITICS)
British talk show host Piers Morgan and former News of the World editor arrives for work at CNN after his British judicial inquiry in Los Angeles, California December 20, 2011. Morgan told a British judicial inquiry on Tuesday that he had never approved phone hacking during his time as a tabloid newspaper editor, and that his published boasts had merely been repeating rumours about journalistic ``dark arts.'' REUTERS/Gus Ruelas (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA)
Piers Morgan, host of "Piers Morgan Tonight," poses during the Turner Broadcasting Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, California January 6, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)
Model Naomi Campbell (L) walks down the catwalk with British television personality Piers Morgan during the Fashion For Relief Haiti fashion show and auction in London, February 18, 2010. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: FASHION)
Former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan takes his seat ahead of the English premier league soccer match between Arsenal and Leicester City at Highbury, London, May 15, 2004. Morgan was sacked after the newspaper conceded that photos they had published of British soldiers abusing an Iraqi were fake. NO ONLINE/INTERNET USAGE WITHOUT FAPL LICENCE. FOR DETAILS SEE WWW.FAPLWEB.COM REUTERS/Mike Finn-Kelcey MFK/DBP/ACM
Editor of Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper Piers Morgan leaves his home in London, May 14, 2004. Morgan, editor of London's Daily Mirror newspaper, was ousted on Friday over publication of pictures of alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners by British troops that proved to be fake. "The Board of Trinity Mirror has decided that it would be inappropriate for Piers Morgan to continue in his role as Editor of the Daily Mirror and he will therefore be stepping down with immediate effect," the newspaper said in a statement.
Judge Piers Morgan speaks on stage, during the 69th Miss World annual final at the ExCel London.
Lucie Donlan and Piers Morgan at the ITV Palooza at the Royal Festival Hall, South Bank (Photo by Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid arriving for the ITV Palooza held at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London.
World Eleven Assistant Manager Piers Morgan celebrates with the trophy at the end of the Soccer Aid match at Stamford Bridge, London.
The Prince of Wales meets Piers Morgan during a visit to the London Television Centre, Lambeth, to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Royal Television Society.
Embargoed to 2030 Wednesday March 1 Piers Morgan arrives at the Design Museum in London for the launch of the new Range Rover Velar.
Eamonn Holmes and Piers Morgan (right) attending the ITV Gala at the London Palladium. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 19, 2015. See PA story SHOWBIZ ITV. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Kevin Pietersen (left) and Piers Morgan take part in the BGC Annual Global Charity Day at Canary Wharf in London.
Celia Walden and Piers Morgan at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards in Berkeley Square, London.
Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden during the National Television Awards 2010, at the 02 Arena, London.
Katy Perry with the award for Aussie Hare Care Newcomer and Piers Morgan, at the Glamour Woman of the Year Awards 2009, at Berkeley Square Gardens, W1
Piers Morgan arrives at the Spectator and GQ 200th Anniversary Party ÐÊPolitics Meets Style, at Sir Rocco Forte's Brown's Hotel in central London.
Piers Morgan and Konnie Huq launch the UK's top 100 'green-agers' who will take part in the npower Climate Cops programme, London.
Fearne Cotton and Piers Morgan during a photocall to launch npower's search to find 'green-agers' across the UK to take part in it's Climate Cops programme, in Regents Park, central London.
Piers Morgan (L) and Andrew Neil attending the Grand Final of Miss Great Britain 2007, held at Grosvenor House hotel in central London.
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"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."

The statement, released on March 3, more than a month after the broadcast, continues: "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."

Broadcasting regulator Ofcom's report for that week shows there were 1,589 official complaints made about the programme aired on January 21.

Piers Morgan even shocked GMB co-host Susanna Reid with his behaviour (ITV)

That episode of Good Morning Britain was later taken down from the ITV Hub on the day it aired, although an ITV spokesperson said it was removed for "a totally unrelated reason".

Morgan denied accusations that he was being racist.

Morgan wrote on Twitter: "I was mocking a member of the British royal family appearing in an advert for Chinese state milk, not Chinese people."

Former footballer John Barnes tweeted in response to Morgan's comments on air saying "Just saw @piersmorgan on GMB mocking Chinese people on the way they speak, what are the odds he faces no criticism for it...", prompting Morgan's reply.

Co-host Susanna Reid, 49, said at the time: "Taking the mickey out of foreign languages is rather 1970s."

Morgan hit back: "I don't know the Chinese... People are more worried about me trying to mimic the Chinese language than a member of the Royal Family trying to flog milk."

The GMB hosts were discussing the appearance by Phillips– the Queen's eldest grandson and son of Princess Anne – starring in the commercial, for milk produced and sold in China from Jersey cows. The ad shows Phillips speaking Mandarin via a likely dubbed voiceover.

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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