Ben Shephard is reportedly set to replace Piers Morgan - here's why

Ben Shephard has co-presented Good Morning Britain since 2014 (ITV)

Ben Shephard is reportedly in line to take over from Piers Morgan as Susanna Reid’s co-presenter.

The veteran TV presenter, 46, has been standing in for firebrand Morgan, who stormed off the show after criticism of Meghan Markle’s Oprah Winfrey interview.

Morgan claimed that Markle had lied about having suicidal thoughts sparking a record number of Ofcom complaints.

And now, according to the Mail on Sunday, Shephard is set to take Morgan’s place from Monday to Wednesday until September.

What has the Mail on Sunday claimed? 

The Mail on Sunday say that ITV bosses were caught off guard by Piers Morgan’s departure.

A source told the newspaper: “ITV and GMB bosses were totally unprepared for Piers going. Nobody had a back-up plan.”

The source said that Shephard had been chosen as he was popular with the GMB team.

“Ben, who is adored by the staff and much of the audience, stepped in and the thought is now that he will work long term.”

The Mail said that Shephard is recognised as a “consummate professional” and the “safest” option.

Who is Ben Shephard? 

Ben Shephard has co-hosted Good Morning Britain since 2014.

He had been hosting the show on Thursdays and Fridays alongside Susanna Reid and Kate Garraway.

Shephard has long been popular with ITV bosses, previously working on GMTV from 2000 to 2010, regularly appearing alongside Garraway.

In 2010 he made the switch to Sky Sports, fronting Goals on Sunday and hosting coverage of Champions League football. He continued fronting Goals on Sunday until 2019 when he stepped down to spend more time with family.

He worked briefly with the BBC from 2007 to 2008 presenting reality show DanceX, while also fronting National Lottery game show 1 vs. 100.

Shepahrd has also regularly turned out for England in charity football match Soccer Aid.

Why did Piers Morgan step down?

A day before he left GMB, Morgan gave a scathing review of Meghan and Harry’s chat with Oprah.

Viewers were left shocked when Morgan said he didn’t believe Meghan when she revealed she had suicidal thoughts due to struggling with life in the royal family.

Morgan continued: “Who did you go to? What did they say to you?

“I’m sorry, I don’t believe a word she said, Meghan Markle.

“I wouldn’t believe it if she read me a weather report.”

The journalist’s comments about Meghan’s suicidal thoughts drew criticism from mental health charity Mind, which said it was “disappointed and concerned” by the remarks.

Meanwhile, after Ofcom received thousands of complaints about the comments, a spokesperson for the watchdog said: “We have launched an investigation into Monday’s episode of Good Morning Britain under our harm and offence rules.”

On March 9 it was announced that Morgan had left his role as co-presenter on the morning show.

An ITV spokesperson said: "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 broadcaster’s CEO has made it clear that ITV takes mental health very seriously.