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

Soon after I came off air at CNN in April, Fam­ily Guy’s Seth McFar­lane an­nounced he was pro­duc­ing a new TV se­ries fea­tur­ing a washed-up Bri­tish cable news an­chor. The lead character, Wal­ter Blunt, was de­scribed as ‘a bor­der­line al­co­holic, mad-ge­nius Brit on a mis­sion to im­part his wis­dom and guid­ance on how Americans should live, think and be­have’. He gets ‘be­sieged by net­work bosses, a dys­func­tional news staff, nu­mer­ous ex-wives and chil­dren of all ages’.

Pa­trick Ste­wart signed up to play Blunt. To­day, after a chance en­counter in LA, we had break­fast to­gether.

‘Piers, I do want to make it very clear that I’m not play­ing you...’ he de­clared firmly on ar­rival. Then he burst out laugh­ing. Pa­trick, who is 74 but looks about 50, was splen­didly en­ter­tain­ing company.

‘We have more in common than ei­ther of us would care to ad­mit,’ he said. ‘We both come from a mil­i­tary fam­ily, went to state schools and trained to be jour­nal­ists. (Ste­wart’s brother once re­vealed that young Pa­trick would skip work on the Mir­field & Dis­trict Re­porter to at­tend re­hearsals, then sim­ply in­vent the sto­ries he re­ported – which is ob­vi­ously where the par­al­lels with me end.)

When the waiter took our or­der, he was spe­cific with his in­struc­tions. ‘I’d like my toast to be prop­erly TOASTED, please,’ he said.

‘You want toasted toast?’ replied the waiter, with a be­mused face.

‘Yes. So if it still looks like hot bread, please ask the chef to put it back in the toaster un­til it re­sem­bles toast!’ The waiter chuck­led. The toast, when it came, was per­fectly toasted.

‘The two most frus­trat­ing things about liv­ing in Amer­ica are the in­abil­ity to find proper toast and a de­cent cup of tea,’ Pa­trick mused, a sen­ti­ment with which I com­pletely con­cur.

In Star Trek, his character Cap­tain Jean-Luc Pi­card was fa­mous for slurp­ing end­less mugs of Earl Grey as he barked or­ders like ‘Make it so’ and ‘En­gage’. But that’s not the blend he drinks in real life.

‘I drink York­shire Gold, pro­duced

‘Piers, you get me!!!! Xoxo. Kim.’ Say what you like

about her, but Ms Kar­dashian-West has very good man­ners...

by Tay­lor’s of Har­ro­gate. Strong and flavour­ful. I take it with me ev­ery­where I go in the world and al­ways have it first thing in the morn­ing.’

‘ I’m a PG Tips man my­self,’ I re­sponded.

Sir Pa­trick gri­maced in the same dis­mis­sive man­ner Cap­tain Pi­card used to gri­mace when a Klin­gon ap­peared.

After break­fast, I went to pick up my car. The ho­tel valet guys – I lived at LA’s Bev­erly Wil­shire for six years – nor­mally leave my As­ton Martin Rapide right out­side the en­trance as a brand- en­hanc­ing vis­age for guests to coo over. Not to­day. The As­ton had been shunted almost out of view, dis­placed by a spank­ing new Bu­gatti Vey­ron, Fer­rari LaFer­rari and McLaren P1. ‘Sorry, Mr Mor­gan,’ said the valet, ‘ but the Prince is in town.’

I spot­ted the num­ber plate on the Bu­gatti: ‘KHAL­IFA’ and sighed – I’d been usurped by a lead­ing mem­ber of one of the rich­est royal fam­i­lies in the Mid­dle East. ‘If it’s any con­so­la­tion,’ added the valet, ‘we couldn’t get his May­bach in at all – it’s out in the street.’

I now know how Arsene Wenger must feel try­ing to com­pete with Sheikh Man­sour. Kim Kar­dashian sent me f low­ers to­day to thank me for sup­port­ing her after the furore which erupted over those as­tound­ing Pa­per mag­a­zine photographs of her der­riere.

Well, when I say ‘flow­ers’ I mean a vast florist shop’s worth of roses, en­cased in a 3ft by 2ft ce­ramic pot, crash-landed onto my doorstep. Woke to a flurry of ex­cite­ment over Susan Boyle’s ap­pear­ance on Lor­raine, in which the Scot­tish beauty ap­par­ently an­nounced that she ‘fan­cied’ me. I just wasn’t sure which Scot­tish beauty. ‘Ob­vi­ously both of us fancy you!’ tweeted Lor­raine when I posed the ques­tion. But a re­view of the tape sug­gested oth­er­wise: ‘I en­tered Bri­tain’s Got Tal­ent be­cause I fan­cied Piers Mor­gan,’ said Susan. ‘No, no, no, don’t make him any more big-headed than he al­ready is!’ re­torted Lor­raine. ‘Oooh, he’s nice…’ in­sisted Susan. ‘Se­ri­ously, you fancy Piers Mor­gan?’ asked Lor­raine. ‘We’re never go­ing to fight over men…’

At which point Susan made an of­fer few women could re­sist: ‘You can have the head.’

Lor­raine re­coiled like she’d been har­pooned. ‘Oh please… noooo.’

I think it’s fair to con­clude Susan Boyle prob­a­bly fan­cies me more than Lor­raine Kelly does.

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