The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - FRONT PAGE -


I’ve spent the week in Mar­rakech, a beau­ti­ful place where the won­der­fully hos­pitable peo­ple – 99 per cent of the city’s pop­u­la­tion is Mus­lim – dis­pelled any no­tion that those mur­der­ously me­dieval, Is­lam-twist­ing beasts of IS rep­re­sent them any more than they rep­re­sent me. To­day, the pro ten­nis coach at my ho­tel re­vealed that he teaches the world’s best foot­baller, Cris­tiano Ron­aldo, when he vis­its three times a year. This rev­e­la­tion spurred me into play­ing fran­ti­cally com­pet­i­tively

‘Come on then,’ I gasped as we fin­ished, ‘who’s bet­ter – me or Cris­tiano?’ ‘You!’ the coach grinned. ‘Se­ri­ously?’ ‘Se­ri­ously. And I will tell him that to his face next time he comes. Cris­tiano needs to know that Piers Mor­gan is a bet­ter ten­nis player than him!’ Yes, he does.


A new study has found that the av­er­age per­son will spend 41 min­utes of each day, or one year and eight months of their en­tire lives, in a bad mood.

And ap­par­ently, Don­ald Trump and I are partly to blame for this shock­ing statis­tic.

He was 24th and I was 50th on a list of the big­gest mood-crush­ers, led by a bad night’s sleep, tech­nol­ogy prob­lems, ar­gu­ments with part­ners, poor man­ners and rude staff.

I men­tioned this to my Good Morn­ing Bri­tain co-host Su­sanna Reid on our first day back at work to­day and she was not en­tirely sur­prised. In fact, she’s been com­pil­ing a hand-writ­ten list of her own, cit­ing all the things I re­peat­edly do, or bang on about, that most an­noy her.

So far, it reads: ‘Arsene Wenger, in­ap­pro­pri­ate jokes, pen-flick­ing, Madonna, Kim Kar­dashian’s naked self­ies, in­ter­rupt­ing, Don­ald Trump, stop­ping me speak­ing, be­ing caught on air us­ing his phone, hum­ming dur­ing news bul­letins, Kevin Pi­etersen, non-stop tweet­ing, al­lud­ing to ‘our re­la­tion­ship’ when there isn’t one, Honey G, crit­i­cis­ing ev­ery­thing the Beck­hams do, putting on ter­ri­ble ac­cents, Lord Sugar, shame­less name-drop­ping, run­ning over time with in­ter­views.’

I’d say that given we’ve now spent more than 300 hours sit­ting six inches apart from each other, this list is so small it bor­ders on the mirac­u­lous.My wife’s, by com­par­i­son, runs longer than the Chilcot In­quiry.


‘When­ever you’re fed up with life,’ tweeted Ricky Ger­vais to­day, ‘just re­mem­ber that you will be dead soon and for­got­ten for ever, and you won’t even know it. Hope that helps.’

‘I in­tend to stay alive for ever, just to an­noy every­one,’ I replied.

‘Re­lax,’ he re­sponded. ‘If there’s one per­son who can an­noy every­one af­ter they’re dead...’


David Wal­liams re­cently hosted the Royal Va­ri­ety Per­for­mance and laid into me with haughty en­thu­si­asm.

‘This oc­ca­sion is all about help­ing those in show busi­ness who’ve fallen on hard times,’ he said. ‘Just £50 will give Si­mon Cow­ell the Bo­tox he des­per­ately needs. He hasn’t had any since two o’clock this af­ter­noon! And £200 would pay for a life-chang­ing oper­a­tion to re­move Piers Mor­gan’s tongue from Don­ald Trump’s bum.’ Hmm.

Given the gut-wrench­ingly syco­phan­tic a**e-lick­ing Wal­liams reg­u­larly dis­plays to­wards Mr Cow­ell from my old chair on Bri­tain’s Got Tal­ent, this struck me as a par­tic­u­larly ironic joke.

As for those in show busi­ness who’ve fallen on hard times, it emerged to­day that Wal­liams has been signed up to be one of the Voice Trum­pets on Tele­tub­bies.I fear no amount of money can save him from this ig­nominy.


Since I joined GMB 14 months ago, Labour leader Jeremy Cor­byn has res­o­lutely re­fused to come on the sofa.

We’ve tried ev­ery­thing, even re­sort­ing to re­peat­edly in­ter­view­ing a cush­ion with his face on it. (To its credit, the cush­ion has been con­sid­er­ably more con­sis­tent than Mr Cor­byn, and is prob­a­bly more electable.)

But to­day he fi­nally caved and came in for a 20-minute live stu­dio chat.

Cor­byn is a mys­ti­fy­ing po­lit­i­cal fig­ure in that he com­mands huge party mem­ber­ship sup­port but is loathed by most of his own MPs. Cor­byn’s man­ner is cu­ri­ous for a leader, too. He’s very dif­fi­dent in per­son, al­most painfully shy. This has led to many in West­min­ster doubt­ing he has the am­bi­tion to run the coun­try, not least be­cause he has al­ways op­er­ated as an op­po­si­tion force, even within his own party.

‘Do you ac­tu­ally want to be Prime Min­is­ter?’ I asked, bluntly.

‘I want to be in gov­ern­ment,’ he replied – an an­swer that will surely only raise fur­ther sus­pi­cions about his No 10 as­pi­ra­tions.

We’re both pas­sion­ate Arse­nal fans, so I pre­sented him with his own shirt, sport­ing ‘Cor­byn, 10’ on the back.

‘You may never ac­tu­ally get to No 10,’ I said, ‘but at least you now have the shirt.’

Af­ter the interview fin­ished, Cor­byn posed for a photo with the shirt, then said: ‘I ac­tu­ally gave Barack Obama one of these when he was over in Lon­don.’ ‘An Arse­nal shirt?’ ‘Yes, he loved it.’ ‘Re­ally? Did he even know what Arse­nal is?’

‘Ab­so­lutely. He told me he fol­lows Bri­tish foot­ball very closely.’

‘Did he have an opin­ion about the fu­ture of our man­ager Arsene Wenger?’

‘I didn’t ask. You’re wrong about Wenger. He should stay.’

‘You would say that,’ I replied. ‘He’s an­other Is­ling­ton-based leader cling­ing des­per­ately on to power and prov­ing im­pos­si­ble to un­seat.’

Cor­byn laughed, or it could have been a gri­mace.

‘The av­er­age per­son spends 41 min­utes ev­ery day in a bad mood and it’s all my fault’

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