QI host Sandi Toksvig will replace Piers Morgan as host of the Royal Television Society Programme Awards later this month.
Morgan, who was originally selected to host proceedings, stepped down from the role after his appointment was met with a backlash online. Toksvig will now take his place.
Morgan cited the opprobrium that had greeted the news of his hosting as the reason behind his decision, writing on his Facebook page that he had “no wish to serve as an unnecessary distraction”.
“I was recently invited to host the Royal Television Society Programme Awards,” Morgan said in a statement. “As someone who has worked in British and American television for most of this Millennium, on a variety of shows, I thought it might be fun and agreed to do it without any fee.”, he wrote at the time.
“After my role was announced, a campaign was started to have me banned. It suggested that I lack the ‘creative excellence’ criteria required for presenting such an event and therefore my presence would be ‘damaging’ and ‘inappropriate.’
“I have no wish to serve as an unnecessary distraction from award winners whose hard work and skill should be celebrated without any of the silly noise this campaign has generated.
“So, I am now withdrawing from hosting the evening. Good luck to everyone who has been nominated.”
The full list of nominations features Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Nadiya Hussain going head-to-head for Best Breakthrough, while Channel 4 drama National Treasure leads the drama categories.