Piers Morgan said he has “sympathy” with Phillip Schofield, who he believed was entitled to a “better send-off” from This Morning.
Schofield, 61, announced over the weekend that he was stepping down from presenting the ITV talk show with “immediate effect” after more than 20 years on the programme.
His departure came amid reports of a rift between Schofield and co-presenter Holly Willoughby and after his brother, Timothy Schofield, was sentenced to 12 years in jail after being convicted of child sex offences.
“I think that anyone who thinks that daytime telly is full of smiley, nicey happy clappy people, I think they are beginning to realise it is infested by a pack of savages,” he told co-presenters Aasmah Mir and Stig Abell on Times Radio.
He continued: “There is nothing more ruthless than the way that talent, as we so laughably get called in television, get treated when the plug gets pulled.
“So I have some sympathy with Phillip Schofield, who actually I do think after 20-odd years on This Morning, winning awards every year, doing great, I think whatever has gone on behind the scenes I think he was entitled to a better send-off.
“But then, I thought I was too at Good Morning Britain for breaking all the ratings records and making the show the most talked-about show in the country – but that’s showbiz.
“And showbiz is a shallow pool of shark-infested waters where, unfortunately, as my grandmother always used to say to me, ‘one day you’re cock of the walk and the next you’re a feather duster’.”
He later added: “There’s life after ITV, I wouldn’t worry too much, it can be a very nice life after ITV – but I do think he deserved a better send off than the one he got, but I’m afraid that’s the way it goes.”
It comes a day after Morgan tweeted responding to fans suggesting he might replace Schofield on This Morning, after leaving Good Morning Britain for saying he did not believe claims made by the Duchess of Sussex during her and Prince Harry’s explosive Oprah Winfrey interview.
He tweeted: “Thanks to everyone suggesting I might replace Phillip Schofield at This Morning in a Lazarus-like comeback to ITV.
“Unfortunately, there’s just one problem: I still don’t believe a single word Meghan Markle says!”