The Happy Days star and chil­dren’s au­thor, 71, in the of­fice at his home in Los An­ge­les

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - NEWS - Piers Mor­gan is away

1 MY SOUL MATE I’ve lived in this house in Brent­wood in LA for 18 years with my wife, Stacey, and my of­fice here is my bolt­hole. We’ve been mar­ried 38 years and we’re soul mates, as you can see in this pic­ture. I met her when I was buy­ing a coat in Bev­erly Hills and she was do­ing the PR for the store. I went back the next week to have an al­ter­ation and there she was again. I asked her out for a soda and that was it. She, our three chil­dren, Jed, Zoe and Max, and our four grand­chil­dren make my life glide!

2 YOU BOOTIES Th­ese are my daugh­ter Zoe’s first shoes – she’s 36 now! As a child I’d find her in her bed­room pre­tend­ing to teach a class and now she’s a great teacher, even though, like me, she’s dyslexic. I’m proud of all my chil­dren; my el­dest Jed, who’s ac­tu­ally my step­son, is a film pro­ducer and Max is a direc­tor. He made the pen­guin here out of clay when he was about five. He was ob­sessed with them. I took him and my grand­daugh­ter Lulu to see the pen­guins at San Diego Zoo re­cently, and boy do they smell!

3 WRIT­ING A WRONG As a child I was branded stupid, even my par­ents called me dumb. It wasn’t un­til was 31 that I was di­ag­nosed with dys­lexia. So the fact I’ve now co-writ­ten 32 Hank Zipzer chil­dren’s books is in­cred­i­ble to me. My chil­dren all read my books to their chil­dren now, and I can’t tell you how proud I am of that. So many chil­dren seem to iden­tify with Hank, who’s dyslexic, or they know some­one like him. We’ve sold four mil­lion books so far and CBBC’s adap­ta­tion of them is one of their top shows.

4 HAPPY DAYS Al­though I do­nated the Fonz’s leather jacket to the Smithsonian in Wash­ing­ton, I have many me­men­tos from Happy Days. The Fonz – there I am in the pic­ture – only had six lines in the first episode but the show ran for 254 more and changed my life. I have ev­ery script bound in leather, but this shelf is pre­cious. It was be­hind Arnold’s cof­fee shop and we’d rest our cups on it be­fore go­ing on set. I started to write on it – for ex­am­ple if one of the other ac­tors had a baby – and nearly all the cast ended up sign­ing it.

5 GONE FISH­ING I’ve just got back from fly-fish­ing with Stacey in Idaho. It’s one of the great­est things to do. We first went fly­fish­ing with my lawyer in Mon­tana in the early 1980s and, par­don the pun, I’ve been hooked ever since. It’s just you, the fly and the fish. You can’t think of any­thing else. Then there’s the sound and beauty of the river, or the cu­ri­ous baby moose that comes out to look at your boat go­ing by. The fish in this pic­ture is a brown trout – he weighed about 4lb – but I al­ways put them back.

6 LEARN­ING DIF­FI­CUL­TIES For years I’ve toured schools across Amer­ica and the UK to raise aware­ness about learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties among chil­dren. Then all of a sud­den, back in 2011, I got a tele­phone call telling me I’d been awarded an honorary Or­der of the Bri­tish Em­pire award for my work with chil­dren’s lit­er­acy in the UK. Wow! I felt hon­oured. It was pre­sented to me by the Bri­tish am­bas­sador amid much pomp and cer­e­mony in Wash­ing­ton. But no mat­ter what I’ve done, or what I’ve re­ceived, I’m still seven-year-old Henry think­ing: ‘This can’t be hap­pen­ing!’

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