The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - RADIO WEEK -

It’s been a few years since David Miliband and I locked horns over Iraq when he was in Tony Blair’s cabi­net, and I was ed­i­tor of the Daily Mir­ror. More re­cently, we were both forced to f lee Br itain to seek gain­ful em­ploy­ment in New York — away from the treach­er­ous in­di­vid­u­als who be­trayed us and broke our hearts. In his case, brother Ed. In mine, Robin van Per­sie.

David’s just started work in New York run­ning a refugee char­ity, and we were reunited at a pri­vate Man­hat­tan din­ner for John McCain, the US se­na­tor and for­mer pres­i­den­tial can­di­date. He seemed re­laxed and gen­uinely up­beat about his un­likely new ca­reer and life path.

But as the fine wine flowed, and we ver­bally jousted once more over big global is­sues like Syria and the US govern­ment shut­down, I saw an in­tel­li­gent, elo­quent, pas­sion­ate man still at the top of his po­lit­i­cal game, sear­ing am­bi­tion only tem­po­rar­ily thwarted. If I were Ed Miliband, I’d watch my back.

Be­cause in this real-life movie, I’ve got a sneak­ing feel­ing David will turn out to be Michael Cor­leone, and Ed will be… Fredo.

‘I had been duped, conned and ex­posed as a global laugh­ing stock – and not for the first time’

he joined Twit­ter. I knew it was def­i­nitely him be­cause his ac­count was ver­i­fied to me per­son­ally by his for­mer in­ter­na­tional team- mate, ex Manch­ester United goal­keeper Ed­win van der Sar.

A tweet Bergkamp and the of­fi­cial Arse­nal ac­count in­stantly retweeted — re­mov­ing even the tini­est scin­tilla of doubt from my al­ways- scep­ti­cal mind. I thus glee­fully spent the morn­ing hon­our­ing King Den­nis by post­ing clips of his great­est goals, as thou­sands of other Arse­nal fans rushed to fol­low him, just as we’d fol­lowed Bergkamp like dizzy- eyed dis­ci­ples dur­ing his decade of tro­phyguz­zling glory.

I even urged my three sons to get in­volved. And then, sud­denly, Den­nis Bergkamp’s ac­count was sus­pended. Gone. De­funct. MIA.

Min­utes later, Ed­win van der Sar tweeted again: ‘Okay, sorry for the con­fu­sion and mis­un­der­stand­ing, but ac­count of Den­nis Bergkamp is fake!’ Fake? FAKE???? Yes Piers, fake. I’d been duped, conned and ex­posed as a global laugh­ing stock. (‘Not the first time,’ I hear you cry…) Now, I don’t care when Twit­ter trolls abuse me for ev­ery­thing from my hideous looks to inane stu­pid­ity.

But when some de­spi­ca­bly mean­spir­ited lit­tle twerp makes me think my hero is back in my life, then they cross a line.

I’m go­ing to find that faker if it’s the last thing I ever do on God’s Earth. I’ll drag him to Nel­son’s Col­umn and tie him to the top of it wear­ing noth­ing but a Spurs shirt.

He’ll thus ex­pe­ri­ence the only greater hu­mil­i­a­tion pos­si­ble. I spent the morn­ing do­ing the rounds of US TV shows pro­mot­ing my new book, Shoot­ing Straight. Dur­ing one, I was asked my views on Madonna be­ing banned from a cin­ema chain for tex­ting dur­ing a movie about slav­ery, a new sci­en­tific claim that women get more aroused sex­u­ally with breast im­plants, and how it is fe­male celebri­ties get back in shape af­ter a baby faster than ‘nor­mal’ women. To which my an­swers were: 1) Madonna should be banned from be­ing Madonna. It’s over.

2) No man I have ever spo­ken to prefers women with fake breasts.

3) I have an in­creas­ingly se­ri­ous con­spir­acy the­ory that many fe­male stars give birth at least a month be­fore they say they have… al­low­ing them to mirac­u­lously get back into shape in record time.

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