The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - PUZZLE TIME -


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’.


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.


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.’


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…’


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.

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