Piers MOR­GAN

MY LIFE AND OTHER CELEBRI­TIES

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

SUN­DAY, JAN­UARY 22

Ap­peared on The An­drew Marr Show.

Other guests in­cluded Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May, so as a mark of re­spect I wore my Sun­day best suit. ‘Piers, your trousers are split,’ whis­pered the make-up lady ur­gently, two min­utes be­fore I was due on air. ‘How badly?’ I asked, pan­ick­ing. ‘Well, the whole seam around your... ahem... bot­tom, has ripped apart. But if you’re care­ful how you walk you should be OK. No sud­den moves though or the whole seat could blow.’

I shuf­fled slowly into the stu­dio, legs tightly to­gether, like a con­demned, shack­led pris­oner head­ing from death row to the gal­lows. One false step in the prox­im­ity of the PM here and I’d be a hu­mil­i­at­ing vi­ral video for the rest of my nat­u­ral life.

For­tu­nately, I sur­vived the pa­per re­view with my dig­nity in­tact.

But things didn’t go quite so well later, when I sat chat­ting in the green room with Labour fire­brand Diane Ab­bott and com­pletely for­got about my lit­tle lo­cal difficulty.

‘OH MY GOD!’ shrieked Diane, as I stood up and walked, jack­et­less, to the door.

‘OH MY GOD!’ I shrieked back, sud­denly re­al­is­ing what she might have seen to cause such hor­ror. I had break­fast with Marr and his team. He had a bad stroke four years ago, and it’s only when you ob­serve him at close quar­ters, strug­gling even to walk, that you re­alise how ex­tra­or­di­nary it is that he’s able to so ex­pertly host such an in­flu­en­tial weekly live po­lit­i­cal pro­gramme.

‘What’s been the hard­est part of this for you?’ I asked.

‘When I first came back, I would reg­u­larly lose my abil­ity to speak,’ An­drew replied. ‘My mouth would move to say some­thing, but noth­ing would come out. That was ob­vi­ously very un­set­tling. But I knew if I didn’t per­se­vere, I might never work on tele­vi­sion again.’

His re­mark­able, in­spir­ing courage cer­tainly puts my piti­ful on-air man-flu moans into cor­rect per­spec­tive.

WED­NES­DAY, JAN­UARY 25

To the Na­tional Tele­vi­sion Awards, or as we TV pre­sen­ters call it: Ant and Dec’s An­nual Tro­phy Cab­i­net Fill­ing Ses­sion.

I was nom­i­nated in three dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories but the Bri­tish pub­lic in­ex­pli­ca­bly failed to vote me onto a sin­gle short­list.

So in­stead, my Good Morn­ing Bri­tain co­host Su­sanna Reid and I were asked to present the Best Day­time Show award.

(If there’s one thing worse than not win­ning awards, it’s be­ing asked to give them to oth­ers and pre­tend­ing to be happy about it.)

After all the furore on GMB this week about the women’s march, Ewan McGre­gor’s big flounce, and high heels, I had an idea.

‘You should do all the talking,’ I sug­gested to Su­sanna as we drove to the O2 arena. ‘A non-sex­ist nod to Girl Power.’

‘I’ve got a bet­ter idea,’ she replied, eyes glint­ing mis­chie­vously. ‘Why don’t I gag you with your own tie?’

‘50 Shades stuff, I like it!’ I said, iron­i­cally prompt­ing Su­sanna to in­stantly gag her­self.

On the red car­pet, Loose Women star Linda Rob­son pre­sented me with a rosette saying: ‘Big­gest Gob’.

‘This is to make up for all the awards you haven’t won,’ she ex­plained.

In make-up, we found Alan Shearer with his flies un­done and a wardrobe man fid­dling with the of­fend­ing area.

‘Zip-re­lated is­sue,’ Shearer sheep­ishly ex­plained, not en­tirely con­vinc­ingly.

Our ri­vals from BBC Break­fast were strut­ting around with un­bear­able smug­ness at be­ing shortlisted in the Live Mag­a­zine cat­e­gory. ‘When you lose, I’ll be the one loudly whoop­ing from Row J,’ I told Dan Walker and Louise Minchin.

‘I look for­ward to you loudly wail­ing when we win,’ re­torted Walker. Joy­ously, they lost to This Morn­ing. ‘We won the pop­u­lar vote!’ squealed ‘Hil­lary’ Walker, dis­con­so­lately.

Ea­monn Holmes came over in a com­mer­cial break.

‘I want to dis­cuss with you the science of your ex­tra­or­di­nary self-con­fi­dence,’ he an­nounced. ‘You should bot­tle it and sell it.’

Later, he stood up for me to re­porters over the Ewan McGre­gor row: ‘Piers is the saviour of break­fast TV.

‘It has to be ei­ther very in­ter­est­ing, very con­tro­ver­sial or very funny. It can’t be bland. He’s got ev­ery­one talking.’

Com­ing from a guy who was him­self the provoca­tive king of break­fast TV, I was very touched by his sup­port.

Su­sanna and I made our way back­stage and bumped into Danny Dyer.

We’d all last met at the Celebrity Juice Christ­mas spe­cial, when we ended up rac­ing inside card­board boxes while a panto dwarf smashed us with a rub­ber ham­mer. ‘What the f*** were we think­ing?’ Danny sighed.

‘Well I was think­ing this might be the end of my ca­reer,’ I said. ‘Me too,’ nod­ded Su­sanna. ‘And me!’ Danny laughed, winc­ing at the mem­ory.

Su­sanna gave one last tight tug on my gag to en­sure no ac­ci­den­tal slip­page and we walked out to a ca­coph­ony of laughs and boos.

‘It’s been a con­tro­ver­sial week on Good Morn­ing Bri­tain,’ she said, ‘We’ve had tears, we’ve had tantrums, we’ve even had a walk­out. So I’ve done what peo­ple have been urg­ing me to do for quite some time – I have fi­nally gagged Piers Mor­gan!’

A dis­may­ingly loud cheer filled the air, and so­cial me­dia erupted with sim­i­lar joy at the im­age of me ren­dered speech­less.

‘This is a won­der­ful pic­ture,’ tweeted Lord Sugar. ‘Shame it can’t be per­ma­nent!’

As I left at 10.30pm, I found Ant and Dec in the limo area, stag­ger­ing un­der the weight of their awards.

‘Move along, Mor­gan,’ chor­tled Ant. ‘This is the win­ners’ en­clo­sure.’

‘I have fi­nally gagged Piers Mor­gan,’ said Su­sanna Reid. A dis­may­ingly loud cheer filled the air...

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