PIERS MOR­GAN

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - CONTENTS -

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.

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