PIER MORGAN DELICIOUSLY INDISCREET
MY LIFE AND OTHER CELEBRITIES
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18
James Corden and his wife Julia threw a delightful cocktail party tonight at Little House in Mayfair, for all the mates they’ve barely seen since they moved to Hollywood.
‘To be completely honest,’ said the invitation, ‘they’ve missed you.’
James ecstatically greeted each guest at the entrance. ‘WELCOME!’ he exclaimed, giving me a massive bear hug.
I spied Gordon Ramsay lurking in the shadows. ‘Evening you old dog,’ I said, punching him in the midriff.
Irritatingly, Ramsay’s triathlon-honed stomach is so hard I ended up hurting myself more than him.
Other guests included Lord Lloyd-Webber, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rob Brydon, Michael McIntyre and the Redknapps, Jamie and Louise. ‘Great job on Strictly!’ I congratulated the latter. She tried to reply but only an indecipherably hoarse whisper emanated.
‘I’ve lost my voice,’ she mouthed, needlessly.
‘I wish Piers would lose his,’ said my wife Celia, equally needlessly. ‘His noise levels always rise at this time of year.’
‘Hate to admit it but I like your noise levels on Good Morning Britain,’ said Jamie. ‘So do I,’ rasped Louise. ‘Do you, Celia?’ ‘I never watch it,’ she replied. ‘It’s bad enough him waking me up at 3.30am with his bloody alarms.’
‘How many?’ asked Jamie. ‘Three,’ I answered. ‘The first is gentle harp music, the second is In Da Club by 50 Cent, the third is my driver banging on the door and screaming “GET OUT OF BED YOU LAZY GIT!”’
Later in the evening, Corden and I had a good chat about his extraordinary success in America. ‘You must be knackered,’ I said, remembering how exhausting it can be to host a nightly show over there. ‘Actually, I’m not at all,’ he replied. ‘It’s honestly been such fun, and all so exciting, I haven’t had time to get tired… yet!’
A waiter arrived with a plate of sizzling sausages. ‘They’re a bit hot,’ he warned.
Corden took one, blew hard to cool it down, then devoured it in one. Suddenly, his face turned puce and he gasped for air. ‘You OK?’ I asked. His whole head was now exploding and he started wildly flapping his hands.
‘Are you choking?’ I shouted, as people around us began to panic and I prepared to perform the Heimlich Manoeuvre.
He shook his head, tears rolling down his blazing face.
‘WA-TER!’ he eventually shouted.
‘Imagine if I’d died eating a saucy chipolata,’ James Corden laughed. ‘It would be so humiliating’
I handed him a glass that Corden gulped like a Foreign Legionnaire after six months in the desert. Eventually, he spat out a huge sigh. ‘Jesus f ****** CHRIST, that was the spiciest sausage I’ve had in my entire life!’ Ah, that kind of hot. ‘Imagine if I’d died eating a saucy chipolata!’ Corden laughed. ‘It would be so humiliating.’
‘Gary Lineker once nearly choked to death on a peanut as we drank in my local pub,’ I replied. ‘Terrible way to go!’ said Corden. ‘Yes,’ I concurred, ‘and imagine how furious Walkers would have been that it wasn’t a crisp.’
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25
George Michael’s death at 53 has prematurely ended the brilliant, and brilliantly complicated life of one of Britain’s greatest pop stars. We had many dealings over the years, including numerous interviews, and became irregular online penpals. George was hilariously funny on email.
But it’s a dinner we shared together at a mutual friend’s south London house that will live longest in my memory.
George was on outrageously indiscreet form that night, revealing he’d slept with 500 men in the previous seven years, was being currently blackmailed by a French male prostitute (‘I forgot to pay him!’), would most like to have sex with Elizabeth Taylor of all the women in history, never regretted being caught propositioning a policeman in a Beverly Hills public toilet (‘I was only sorry for offending some of my fans’) and insisted Rod Stewart once served Dairylea triangles at a Los Angeles dinner party claiming it was rare French cheese.
He also, when I tested him, knew the price of a pint of milk (‘54p from the garage near my home’), revealing he never completely lost touch with reality.
George, who had us all heaving with laughter with his searing, shocking honesty, chuckled: ‘I’ve decided to just admit everything so people can’t expose me for it.’
Then he became the first celebrity to ever render me speechless by saying: ‘Come on Piers, I bet you’ve fancied experimenting with men?’
‘I most certainly have not, George!’ I said in my most indignant heterosexual voice.
To round off a surreal evening, the phone rang at midnight. ‘Elton!’ shrieked George, delightedly. That night was George Michael at his best. But he wasn’t always like that. The wondrously talented singer’s fame-averse descent into a dark, secretive world of heavy drug abuse often made him paranoid, pompous, argumentative, lonely and morose.
But as our dinner attested, he could also be hugely amusing, unpredictable, provocative and entertaining. George was truly a tormented genius. I hope he’s finally found peace.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 1
TV astrologer Russell Grant has made a dire 2017 prediction for my GMB co-host Susanna Reid and I.
‘Fire signs are usually compatible,’ he said, ‘and, on the surface at least, these two will politely tolerate each other. But a Jupiter/ Mercury link between their stars suggests competitiveness can be a real problem.
‘Occasional flare-ups are likely but this could build into a volcanic catastrophe!’ Yikes! Happy New Year.