How the Daily Star headline on Danielle Lineker got it oh so wrong
Kate Moss and I have had a decidedly chequered relationship ever since she was exposed for taking cocaine by the Daily Mirror in 2005, and blamed me – despite the fact I’d left the paper a year earlier.
I’ve had to run the gauntlet of her fury whenever we’ve met in public. Most memorably when she ran over to me during her friend Naomi Campbell’s Haiti charity fashion show and kicked me hard in the shins.
Our mutual friend Philip Green, for whom Kate flies the flag at Topshop, tried to reconcile us at a later dinner. But after a promising start, she kicked me again under the table.
So it was with some trepidation that I spied her advancing at high speed towards me at a high society wedding in the Cotswolds tonight.
But to my astonishment, she bellowed ‘Come ’ere darlin’!’ and smothered me with hugs and kisses.
First Clarkson, now La Moss... where will this all end? A threesome with Cherie Blair and Heather Mills?
The wedding itself, between Andrew Neil’s former PA, Phoebe Vela, and property tycoon John Hitchcox, was splendid fun.
The highlight was best man Simon Le Bon leading a Duran/Spandau/ Floyd supergroup on stage with Gary Kemp and Nick Mason.
Though my own personal favourite moment came on arrival, when guests boarded golf buggies to ferry us to the lakeside service.
We hit muddy waters halfway through the journey, and Jon Snow sprang out to physically heave his buggy through the mud.
‘Good to see you finally getting your hands di r ty, Snowy!’ I exclaimed.
‘ F*** off Morgan!’ he retorted, flicking a frenzied series of V-signs at me. If only he did that to politicians on Channel 4 News.
On our way in this morning, he was twice frisked by security guards – both of them oblivious to the fact this was England cricket’s greatest- ever international run-scorer. KP saw the funny side, as he has throughout the whole debacle surrounding his dismissal. Though when England captain Alastair ‘Weasel’ Cook (who stared silently at the floor when KP was fired) was out early, I leaned over and whispered: ‘Don’t crack a smile for the next three minutes.’ Sure enough, the Sky cameras instantly alighted on KP’s face, which had morphed into a picture of concerned seriousness.
As we left the ground at 5pm, KP was mobbed by young fans desperate for him to return to the team.
‘Would you play again if picked?” asked one. ‘Yes!’ replied KP. Our visit predictably attracted a lot of attention.
‘Have to tell you,’ commentator David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd tweeted me afterwards, ‘we debated whether you were a cad, bounder, scoundrel, dandy or a wheeze. Definitive please.’
‘Can’t I be all of those?’ I replied. Royal Ascot is a fabulous occasion. Especially if you’re as lucky as I was today, and get invited to a hospitality box ( hosted by Simon Cowell’s best friend Jackie St Clair and her husband Carl) containing enough fine caviar to sustain Vladimir Putin for a decade. Caviar doesn’t actually taste of very much. A bit like very salty, anchovylaced tapioca. But the experience of devouring large spoonfuls of something so rare and expensive always feels quite outrageously extravagant.
Other guests included Bruno Tonioli and Gary Lineker’s wife, Danielle.
The former proved very popular with Today’s Daily Star front page headline screamed ‘LINEKER WIFE PLAYS AWAY.’ Wow, this looked like a juicy scandal. Then I saw the sub-heading, in smaller letters: ‘WITH PIERS MORGAN!’
The evidence for this sensational exclusive was a photo of Danielle holding her mouth coquettishly on the balcony of the Ascot box, and me laughing next to her. My wife Celia, who’d been with us at Ascot, saw the headline, raised an eyebrow, and guffawed: ‘ Poor Danielle. She’s welcome to you.’ Tony Blair has, rightly, taken a lot of flak for his ridiculous assertion that the murderous chaos currently raging in Iraq has nothing to do with him.
It has, of course, got everything to do with him, and the terrible decision to take this country into war there back in 2003. A decision that the Labour- supporting Daily Mirror, under my editorship, vociferously opposed before, during and after.
But if there’s anything more stomach-churning than Blair’s self-denial, it is surely the indignant fury of Blair critics like Boris Johnson, one of the many MPs who voted for the war.
Boris has even admitted since that he voted despite thinking the SaddamWMD claims cited as the reason for war were ‘nonsense’.
At least Blair believed they were genuine. On balance, I think I prefer an honest mistake, however catastrophic, to a dishonest one.