MORE than 141,000 people tuned in to see TalkTV’s “off air” message after Kate McCann fainted while presenting the Tory leadership debate – around double the usual viewing figures for Piers Morgan’s nightly show.

After Liz Truss looked horrified and a loud crashing sound could be heard, the camera stopped recording and the screen cut to a message reading: “We’re sorry for the disruption to this programme. We’re working hard to fix the issue and will return to normal programming soon.”

As news of the incident spread across social media, it appears that thousands tuned in to TalkTV to find out what had happened - leading the primetime slot to see tens of thousands more viewers than usual.

The National:

It emerged that presenter McCann had suddenly collapsed during the broadcast.

While she was feeling okay shortly afterwards, medical advisers said she should not return to her presenting duties and the debate between Truss and Rishi Sunak was called off.

But despite the drama of Tuesday’s prime time broadcasts TalkTV was outperformed by BBC News, Sky News and GB News, according to Barb.

While the Tory debate had been held in Morgan’s studio, according to Guido Fawkes both Sunak and Truss’s advisers did not want him hosting the programme.

That’s how the job ended up with Harry Cole and McCann, though Cole tested positive for Covid-19 on the day leaving the political editor by herself.

Since launching earlier this year Rupert Murdoch’s new TalkTV channel has experienced challenges – with the viewing figures falling 80% for Morgan’s flagship nightly show and the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (Barb) recording zero viewers during some primetime broadcasts.

Averaging around 62,000 viewers for Morgan’s Uncensored show a night – after starting with 317,000 – has reportedly led the channel to consider rejigging its schedule.

READ MORE: Kate McCann faints live on air during TalkTV Tory leadership debate

It is thought that former tabloid editor Richard Wallace will be brought in to shake things up, with Jeremy Kyle set for a full TV show at a peak time.

Morgan has long argued that linear TV viewing figures don’t matter in a digital world, tweeting: “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.”