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Appearing in a pre-recorded clip in character as his bumbling presenter Alan Partridge, Coogan said: “Sadly, I can’t be with you because I’m on a nationwide tour, performing to an audience bigger than Piers Morgan gets on the actual telly. But the good thing with Piers is that it doesn’t bother him.”
Coogan’s joke comes in the wake of Morgan’s viewing figures slumping just days after his show Uncensored launched on new channel TalkTV.
The audience for Morgan’s flagship 8pm evening show collapsed from an average of 317,000 viewers on its launch night to 62,000 viewers one week later – a drop of 80 per cent.
Morgan, who gloated about his first night television ratings, later insisted he does not care how many people tune in.
He told his social media followers: “Linear TV increasingly irrelevant to total eyeball potential for a global show like this, especially with younger viewers who don’t really watch TV any more.”
This year’s Baftas are being hosted by Richard Ayoade at the Royal Festival Hall in London. He wasted no time making a joke about Will Smith in his opening monologue.