PIERS MOR­GAN

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - SUPERMUM NEWS -

I’ve been given some de­light­ful presents by guests on my show over the years — in­clud­ing a mag­nif­i­cent box of rare teas from Whoopi Gold­berg, a signed Celtic foot­ball shirt from Rod Ste­wart and, most re­cently, a bot­tle of Bordeaux from Char­lie Sheen. But few have had the per­sonal touch of Mia Far­row’s of­fer­ing to­day.

Mia has had an ex­tra­or­di­nary life. A bril­liant ac­tress, she’s made 50 films, in­clud­ing The Great Gatsby, Robert Alt­man’s cult clas­sic A Wed­ding and Han­nah And Her Sis­ters. Off screen, she mar­ried Frank Si­na­tra, and then the bril­liant con­duc­tor An­dré Previn, be­fore hav­ing a long re­la­tion­ship with Woody Allen that col­lapsed when she dis­cov­ered he’d been hav­ing an af­fair with her adopted daugh­ter, Soon-Yi.

Amid all this, she has raised 15 chil­dren — four bi­o­log­i­cal, 11 adopted. And also, in­cred­i­bly, found time to pas­sion­ately pro­mote numer­ous causes as a Unicef am­bas­sador, such as the cri­sis in Dar­fur. So what was her gift? A car­ton of six eggs from her eight chick­ens, which are all named Gla­dys. ‘Freshly laid this morn­ing!’ she said.

And very tasty they were, too. ‘Mr Mor­gan! Fancy see­ing you here!’ I looked up, ex­pect­ing to see a wide-eyed fan who I would then have to fend off with skil­ful but firm de­ter­mi­na­tion.

In­stead, I saw Tom Hanks smil­ing at me. ‘Mr Hanks!’ ‘Mind if I join you?’ he asked. I toyed with say­ing ‘Ab­so­lutely not’, purely to see how one of the world’s great movie stars deals with re­jec­tion. But raw, naked ex­cite­ment got the bet­ter of me. ‘Of course!’

I in­ter­viewed Tom for my CNN show last week, as I recorded in this col­umn. (He’s mak­ing his Broad­way de­but in Lucky Guy, a play about a hard­drink­ing Ir­ish tabloid jour­nal­ist called Mike McAlary, the last work by the late Sleep­less In Seat­tle di­rec­tor Nora Ephron.) And it would be hard to find a more down-to-earth su­per­star. A word I rarely use, as so few peo­ple ac­tu­ally de­serve it. But Hanks has been nom­i­nated five times for Os­cars, win­ning the Best Ac­tor award twice. And his movies have grossed more than $8bn world­wide — mak­ing him the high­est-earn­ing box-of­fice star in Hol­ly­wood his­tory. So yes, I think the man­tle of ‘su­per­star’ rests eas­ily on his shoul­ders. Yet he was on his own to­day, no min­ders or en­tourage. And for the next half an hour we chat­ted about ev­ery­thing from movies to the me­dia, to Justin Bieber, who was in the news for lash­ing out at a pho­tog­ra­pher.

‘Do you re­sent the pa­parazzi?’ I asked. ‘No. They’re part of the busi­ness,’ he replied. ‘But I don’t like thugs, and some of them are thugs. The prob­lem is that celebri­ties are dime-a-dozen — you can do al­most any­thing and be a celebrity now. So the pic­tures aren’t as valu­able any more. I cor­nered a guy who was pho­tograph­ing me as I walked my dog and said, “Dude, who cares about me and my dog?” And he said he was try­ing to get some­one else’s My 15- month- old daugh­ter, Elise, has the at­ten­tion span of a small gnat (no idea where she gets that from) and devel­oped a bru­tally quick and with­er­ing as­sess­ment of any­thing I put in front of her that might qual­ify as ‘en­ter­tain­ment’. Tele­tub­bies was met with a re­sound­ing ‘NO!’ af­ter 15 sec­onds this morn­ing and Dean Martin’s Mambo Ital­iano was de­stroyed with a rapid-fire burst of ‘NO! NO! NO!’ af­ter 11 sec­onds. My first thought was to have her ex­am­ined by a top Bev­erly Hills psy­chi­a­trist for At­ten­tion Deficit Dis­or­der. But then I had a bet­ter idea — to call Simon Cow­ell and sug­gest she’d make a great X Fac­tor or Bri­tain’s Got Tal­ent judge in 2034.

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