I’ve got much better things to do than stand on stage being booed incessantly
THURSDAY JANUARY 26
Dinner with Gary Lineker at Elystan Street restaurant in Chelsea. As always in the decade we’ve been friends, he was waiting at the table when I arrived bang on time.
Tonight, he finally explained his extraordinary punctuality. ‘Footballers get fined if they’re even a minute late for training. The habit stays with you…’
THURSDAY FEBRUARY 8
Very sad to hear about the death of Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, aged just 45.
She once sent me a thank-you note after an interview that perfectly summed up her personality: ‘I am very grateful for your fabulous portrayal of my eccentric, weird and adventurous life. You could have had me for breakfast... actually, I’m quite tasty!’
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 10
Watched Oscar-nominated movie Hidden Figures, and it’s superb. Far better, certainly, than its main rival for Best Picture, the overly saccharine La La Land.
It tells the true story of three brilliant black female Nasa maths experts who helped John Glenn become the first American to orbit the Earth.
Glenn, who died last December, was a true iconic hero: a distinguished fighter pilot in World War II, a groundbreaking astronaut and then a successful US senator.
I met him once, for just a few seconds, but the memory still makes me shudder.
President Bill Clinton had asked me to chair a panel for his charity foundation in New York.
I walked out to find the audience front row housing Prince Albert of Monaco, Barbra Streisand and John Glenn. Afterwards, I went over to say hello. ‘It’s such an honour to meet you,’ I said, pumping Glenn’s granite hand.
‘I hope you’re not going to get on your knees and sing again,’ sighed Barbra (I once serenaded her at a Malibu dinner party with a diabolically drunken version of The Way We Were). Glenn raised an eyebrow. ‘It was as bad as it sounds, sir,’ I explained. ‘It really was,’ confirmed Barbra. He then had to leave. It will remain a permanent regret that the only conversation I had with one of the greatest human beings of my lifetime was about my inability to sing.
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 17
It’s not easy right now being someone who works in the entertainment industry that doesn’t profess to loathe and detest Donald Trump.
My old friend’s victory in the US presidential election has turned Hillary-adoring Planet Showbiz into a seething cesspit of bilious hatred towards him and anyone, like me, who dares defend him in any way.
Recently, Ewan McGregor boycotted Good Morning Britain because I criticised the ‘Women’s March’ as an anti-Trump rally ambushed by stars like Madonna saying she had ‘dreamed of blowing up the White House’.
Then, last week, I was told to ‘f*** off!’ on a US TV chat show by an Australian comedian for insisting Trump isn’t the new Hitler.
This sparked a flurry of abuse from JK Rowling, who tweeted, ‘Yes, watching Piers Morgan being told to f*** off on live TV is exactly as satisfying as I’d always imagined.’
She then branded me a ‘fact-free, amoral, bigotry-apologism celebrity toady’... at least some of which is nonsense.
Jimmy ‘Tax Free’ Carr summed up the general luvvie mood when he said on 8 Out Of 10 Cats, to raucous cheers: ‘A cockroach can hold its breath for 40 minutes, which explains why nobody has drowned Piers Morgan.’
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 18
Talking of cocks and Roaches, mayhem has erupted after I was announced as the presenter of this year’s prestigious Royal Television Society Programme Awards.
I’d agreed to do it for free as it’s a charity event.
In response, a campaign was promptly started to have me banned.
The organiser, a man named Cameron ‘Cock’ Roach, who runs Sky Drama, wrote to RTS bosses saying I was an ‘inappropriate’ and ‘damaging’ choice as host.
‘Cock’ Roach, who produced the execrable Footballers’ Wives, explained: ‘For the RTS to invite Piers to host an awards ceremony that is celebrating the best, most creative and forward-thinking talent in our industry, seems an embarrassing error of judgement. Piers in no way represents creative excellence.’
He then claimed I have ‘failed to understand a social movement that values equality and diversity of voice’.
What the supremely pompous ‘Cock’ Roach really meant was that anyone who doesn’t share his liberal views about President Trump has to be vilified, banned and silenced.
A curious attitude, you might think, from people who claim to stand for free speech, tolerance and ‘diversity of voice’.
‘Cock’ Roach leaked his letter to the media, sparking a frenzied Twitter surge of support from fellow Trump-hating members of his trade, like Blackadder man-servant Tony Robinson, ex-Casualty actress Claire Goose and professional activist bore, Bonnie Greer.
It quickly became clear the whole event would now be overshadowed by this farcical campaign, so I withdrew.
Frankly, I’ve better things to do than stand on a stage being booed and heckled by ‘Cock’ Roach and Baldrick, and listen to an inevitable stream of Trump-bashing speeches. Awards shows should be about recognising talent and hard work, not spewing bile about politics. Sadly, I fear this year’s Academy Awards will descend into the latter theme.