The GQ Men of the Year Awards is a deliciously glamorous, febrile and unpredictable affair.
I was the magazine’s Newspaper Editor of the Year in 2003 and soon after got fired from the Daily Mirror. Last year, I was GQ’s Television Personality and my CNN show ended a few months later.
For this reason, I will never be accepting GQ’s ‘Best Living Human Being’ award.
Rule one of these star- studded affairs is: never walk on to the red carpet in front of or behind anyone more famous or handsome than you.
So imagine my dismay when I spied David Gandy, the world’s top male model, getting out of his chauffeured car at the exact same time to ecstatic screams from the crowds.
‘ Piers, you’re looking good!’ he lied. ‘David, you’re looking better!’ I replied, more truthfully.
He glided on to the carpet and began posing for the photographers.
I observed his technique carefully: insert left hand casually into trouser pocket, hang r ight hand ful ly extended, transfer weight to left foot, jut out chiselled jaw, crease face into slight smirk/smoulder, laser cameras with piercing stare.
The problem with trying to copy it, as I discovered, is that it only really works if you resemble a Greek god, like Mr Gandy.
Fortunately, things perked up at the pre-dinner drinks party, where Samuel L. Jackson saw me, exclaimed ‘Piers Morgan… my MAN!’ and charged over to give me a bear hug. I held him in close for as long as was decently possible – to ensure the largest possible number of witnesses.
I needn’t have worried. As we ungrappled, Gerard Butler swiftly moved in to hug me too. He was my man-date at the White House Correspondents Dinner last year and is every bit as amusing, and slightly wild, as you’d expect him to be.
My joy at this unant icipated Hollywood hugathon was tempered by tycoon Philip Green grabbing my jowls as if he was choking a Christmas turkey and roaring: ‘Been overdoing the grub, Piersy boy?’
‘Pretty rich coming from you!’ I retorted, temporarily forgetting that Philip is indeed pretty rich.
My doppelganger Colin Fir th passed by with his Italian wife Livia – who is the most beautiful and refined spouse at any of these events, after my own, obviously.
‘ What you did in America over gun control was incredibly brave,’ he told me. ‘It’s a nightmare publicly expressing any kind of opinion on controversial issues like that if you’re an entertainer because you instantly alienate large sections of your audience. I admire you for having the guts to do it and carrying on when they were all trying to deport you.’
‘ Thanks,’ I replied. ‘ Talking of nightmares, do you still get mistaken for me?’ Firth nodded. ‘All the bloody time.’
I was then introduced to Pippa Middleton, sister of Kate.
‘Blimey, I didn’t expect to see you here,’ I blurted out. ‘Oh really, why?’ she laughed. ‘Well, it’s a lively old night… I’d definitely make your escape before things turn a little crazy.’
‘Crazy?’ A flash of panic swept over Pippa’s face. ‘CR-AZY.’ I walked down into the dining room to find Kim Kardashian and Kanye West standing around slightly selfconsciously.
Kim was Kim. Warm and friendly. ‘Piers, thanks for always being so supportive,’ she said, kissing me on both cheeks. ‘I really appreciate it.’ Kanye was Kanye. He shook my hand like a vice, gave me a stare that could break windows, said a quiet ‘Hi’ and went back to texting on his phone. If he tried small talk, he’d kill his brand.