PIERS MOR­GAN

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

I’ve had many amus­ing en­coun­ters with pop su­per­star boy bands in my time. I wrote two of­fi­cial books for Take That and even ap­peared with them on stage at Wem­b­ley.

I’ve been phys­i­cally threat­ened by New Kids on the Block. And I be­came quite good mates with Bros.

But un­til now, my only meet­ing with cur­rent global phe­nom­e­non One Di­rec­tion was at James Cor­den’s wed­ding, where we hung out by the side of a gar­gan­tuan mar­quee drink­ing beer and talk­ing foot­ball.

A few months later, they con­spired against me, dur­ing an ar­gu­ment over David Beck­ham, to get the hash­tag # piersmor­gan­iss­melly t rend­ing world­wide on Twit­ter for a whole day. An un­savoury in­ci­dent that means I still get bom­barded with tweets ev­ery day from teenage girls in­form­ing me joy­ously, ‘You stink!’

Today, I was asked by Ben Win­ston, Cor­den’s film- maker best man, to in­ter­view the group in LA for a sev­en­hour on­line ‘1DDay’ ex­trav­a­ganza be­ing streamed live to the world. I found them in re­hearsals. ‘Hey, it’s Stinky!’ cried Niall. Not a good start. We chat­ted for a few min­utes, and they ex­uded an air of fun- lov­ing, care­free young men who still can’t quite be­lieve their luck.

But when the busi­ness end of their world be­gan, they got deadly se­ri­ous — per­form­ing Story Of My Life a capella. Stand­ing a few feet away, I was gen­uinely im­pressed. These boys have worked hard at their singing.

And in Harry Styles, who looks in­creas­ingly like a young Mick Jag­ger, they have a front­man with cheek, charm and the vo­cal chops.

‘ This,’ I warned them be­fore we started the in­ter­view, ‘is pay­back.’

‘What­ever, Stinky,’ chirped Liam, con­fi­dently.

I sat them at five dif­fer­ent so­fas, and de­cided to take the gloves off straight away. ‘Harry Styles, are you dat­ing Ken­dall Jen­ner?’ He’d been seen din­ing with the Kar­dashian clan mem­ber in Hol­ly­wood this week. Harry’s cheery face froze in hor­ror. ‘Erm, well we went for din­ner, but…

‘My daugh­ter needs to

know that I’m more pop­u­lar with women than the whole of One Di­rec­tion’

no…’ Then he smirked, adding cryp­ti­cally: ‘I guess…’ A clar­i­fi­ca­tion guar­an­teed to sting the heart of any fe­male fan watch­ing.

As if on cue, a baby in the stu­dio erupted into un­con­trol­lable wail­ing. It was my daugh­ter, Elise.

‘You’ve made my daugh­ter cry!’ I berated Harry. ‘Oh God, I’m so sorry,’ he splut­tered. ‘I love your pig­tails, Elise!’ She car­ried on sob­bing.

‘It’s her se­cond birth­day today,’ I added. The five boys all be­gan shout­ing, ‘Happy birth­day, Elise!’ It was a mo­ment that any young girl in the world would die for. But as the cam­era beamed on Elise, she turned her back in quite dis­dain­ful un­in­ter­est. Back to the in­ter­view.

‘A hot date here in Los An­ge­les, a bud­ding ro­mance…?’ I per­sisted, with Harry. ‘MOVE ON!’ boomed a loud man­age­ment- sound­ing voice from the back of the stu­dio. ‘Yes, let’s move on shall we…’ agreed Harry, sheep­ishly. ‘YOU STINK!’ cried Liam, sup­port­ively, be­fore adding: ‘Sorry, Piers, that’s the only joke I’ve got.’

‘Harry, my se­cond ques­tion for you is: if you could swap bod­ies with any male celebrity, whose would you choose?’

‘First choice would be you.’ I feigned to­tal lack of sur­prise. ‘It’s the chis­elled abs,’ he sighed. I moved on to Zayn, who has a giant hand­gun tat­tooed on his lower ab­domen. Some­thing, which as you can imagine, jarred with me. ‘You’ve had a rather con­tro­ver­sial tat­too,’ I said. ‘Can we see it?’

‘It’s a bit low down to be show­ing it,’ he replied, sheep­ishly. ‘It’s a gun,’ I said. ‘It’s a small gun.’ ‘ Why have you had a gun tat­tooed to your body?’

‘It’s a wa­ter gun’, he said. ‘It shoots wa­ter.’

‘ No, it’s not,’ I scoffed. Be­low: Mullingar man Niall Ho­ran from One Di­rec­tion

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