THURSDAY, JUNE 14
Two months ago, I was asked to shoot a few scenes for Will Ferrell’s forthcoming political comedy, The Campaign.
This week, the director, Jay Roach – whose illustrious credits include Austin Powers and Meet The Parents – called to say they needed ‘more Piers’.
Needless to say, I responded to this development with all the relaxed selfcontrol of a hyperactive labrador puppy on its first trip to the seaside.
I play myself in the film, which is a bitingly satirical look at America’s ruthless political system timed to come out just before the next election in November.
Incredibly, I now have two big movies coming out this year – the other being a similar CNN-studio-based cameo role in Denzel Washington’s thriller, Flight.
I think this officially gives me what Hollywood types call ‘a body of work’.
SATURDAY, JUNE 16
I’ve always got on well with Alastair Campbell, a fact that strikes friends with the same astonishment I suspect he’s met with when he admits getting on with me.
We spoke almost daily for 11 years during Britain’s Tony Blair era, and usually had a laugh amid the ritual abuse that dominates debate between tabloid editors and government communications chiefs. I respected his blind loyalty to Blair, even if I didn’t always agree with him.
But his ability to spin anything and everything to suit his agenda has few rivals in political history.
Take, for example, extracts published in The Guardian today from his latest diaries. In them, he recounts how we had lunch in May, 2003, at the Savoy Grill. ‘[ Morgan] was in appeasing mood,’ he wrote. ‘Said he had ballsed up the Iraq war, had lost 60,000 readers to that… and he accepted he had f***** up.’
Anyone reading that sentence would assume, as he deliberately intended it to suggest, that I regretted the Daily Mirror’s position in opposing the Iraq war. But as he knew, and as he admitted on Twitter when I confronted him , I have never regretted it for a second – despite the circulation difficulties it caused.
In fact, the Mirror’s dogged campaign to try to stop Blair going into that war remains my proudest journalistic achievement. I just wish we’d been successful. It wasn’t me that ‘ballsed up the Iraq War’, Alastair, it was you and your master.
SUNDAY, JUNE 17
My three sons sent me a joint Father’s Day card this morning, which perfectly
‘Sharon sounded absolutely heartbroken about Jack. But as I said to her, they’ve overcome worse than this’
reflected our changing social times. ‘Dear Piersy@piersmorgan’, it started, deploying Lord Sugar’s nickname for me on Twitter, ‘#HappyFathersDay love, your 3 best followers, Spencer, Stanley, Bertie.’
MONDAY, JUNE 18
People often ask how I deal with the jetlag that comes with having a ‘tri-coastal’ (sounds like a Russell Brand-style sexrelated proclivity, doesn’t it?) working life. To which I usually reply, ‘Oh, it’s mind over matter.’ And to an extent, it is.
But just occasionally, events conspire to test even my cranial powers.
For example, this morning I woke in my London home and caught the 10am flight to New York, arriving around 12.30pm local time. I went straight to work, taping various elements of tonight’s CNN show until 7pm. I then attended the premiere of West Wing creator (and writing genius) Aaron Sorkin’s new TV drama, The Newsroom, about a cable news show not dissimilar to my own, had a fun dinner afterwards with him and the stars — including Jeff Daniels, Woody Harrelson and Emily Mor t imer — and final ly stumbled home about 11pm. To be extra sure of a good night’s rest, I took a sleeping pill designed to knock me out for six hours. At 3am, my landline rang. Now, I rent my apartment in Manhattan, and nobody outside of my immediate family knows the number.
So, even in my stupor, I immediately panicked and grabbed the phone.
‘ He l l o there, i t ’s Savills…’ said a female voice. ‘Sorry?’ ‘It’s Savills, the estate agents, I wonder if we could…’ ‘Is this a joke? It’s 3am.’ ‘Oh, I’m so sorry, I’ll let you get back to sleep.’
Cursing, I did, incredibly, get back to sleep.
At 4am, the phone rang again.
‘Hello, it’s Savills…’
TUESDAY, JUNE 19
Three weeks ago, Sharon Osbourne called me in floods of tears. Her son, Jack, 26 – a terrific guy – had just been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a cruel disease for which there is no cure. Anyone who knows Sharon well knows that her family is everything to her, and she sounded absolutely heartbroken. ‘He’s still just my little boy,’ she wept, prompting a lump in my own throat. Today, the news was formally announced, and I just want to send them both my love and support. As I said to her, they’ve overcome worse than this.