PIERS MOR­GAN: DELICIOUSLY INDISCREET

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

MON­DAY, MARCH 20

‘Dear Favourite Break­fast TV Peo­ple Ever...’ read the email to Su­sanna Reid and I from Emma Freud, the driv­ing force for Comic Relief with her movie-pro­ducer part­ner Richard Cur­tis.

This was their trade­mark forked-tongue hy­per­bole tech­nique that’s per­suaded celebri­ties to help raise more than £1bil­lion for the an­nual char­ity event.

‘Richard and I love the idea of Good Morn­ing Bri­tain view­ers do­nat­ing to stop Piers tweet­ing for 24 hours on Red Nose Day.’

Short of wa­ter­board­ing, it’s dif­fi­cult to imag­ine a worse tor­ture for me.

But as al­ways when Ms Freud and Mr Cur­tis come call­ing, the head screams ‘NO!’ but the heart screams ‘YES!’

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22

We an­nounced the ap­peal on GMB at 6.50am. At 7am, Lord Sugar, watch­ing in Florida, tweeted a video of him­self say­ing: ‘£5k to si­lence Piers Mor­gan for a whole day? That’s the bar­gain of the cen­tury! Comic Relief, send me the bill straight away and I’ll pay im­me­di­ately. It’s go­ing to be a won­der­ful day with­out that nut­ter clog­ging up Twit­ter with his non­sense.’ Cam­paign over. Then GMB’s sports presenter Sean Fletcher, who, like Sugar, is a big Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur fan, is­sued a new chal­lenge.

‘What would it take to make you wear a Spurs shirt?’

‘No chance!’ I bel­lowed. ‘I’d want at least £50,000 for that, which is never go­ing to hap­pen.’

‘So if £50,000 does get raised, you’d wear it?’ he per­sisted, call­ing my self­in­flicted bluff. ‘Yes, but it won’t.’ Within an hour, £15,000 had poured in, led by glee­ful stars in­clud­ing Gary Lineker, Rob­bie Savage, Holly Wil­loughby, Kevin Pi­etersen, Bradley Walsh, Michael Vaughan, Rio Ferd­inand and Jamie Red­knapp.

THURS­DAY, MARCH 23

Spurs and Eng­land striker Harry Kane do­nated £2k but added: ‘I’ll dou­ble it if you kiss the Spurs badge on TV.’

‘Very kind of­fer,’ I re­sponded, ‘but you can kiss my a***.’

‘How much left to reach the tar­get?’ emailed Sugar at 6pm. ‘£25k,’ I replied. ‘It won’t hap­pen.’ An hour later, Sugar posted a new video. ‘I hear we’re short of a few quid,’ he growled. ‘So I’m go­ing to top it up to make sure £50k is raised and Mor­gan is not only gagged but also has to wear the Tot­ten­ham shirt. What a won­der­ful birth­day present this is go­ing to be for me tomorrow!’

Uggghh.

FRI­DAY, MARCH 24

Sugar, 70 to­day, posted the photo of me wear­ing the shirt and I was duly mocked all day with­out any power to de­fend my­self.

Even Lon­don mayor Sadiq Khan joined in, tweet­ing: ‘Painful for him, per­fect for us!’ Tonight, I watched Comic Relief. Su­sanna agreed to take part in a sketch with Vic Reeves and Bob Mor­timer, in which they in­ter­viewed her in char­ac­ter as their once pop­u­lar but long for­got­ten bick­er­ing broth­ers, The Stotts.

They gave her ex­cre­ment-stained jeans, asked if she ever turned up for work with back-to-front knick­ers, de­manded to know what she does when she runs out of toi­let roll, then made some lewd ref­er­ence to whether her ‘hus­band Piers Mor­gan’ leaves an ‘oily sub­stance on the bot­tom sheet’ when we’re sup­pos­edly ‘ly­ing in bed to­gether’.

Fi­nally, Reeves ex­posed him­self with a fake pe­nis and asked if she had seen the new movie, Kong.

‘It’s out there,’ he leered. ‘It’s very long and heavy, quite hairy at the be­gin­ning.’ Then he crudely flipped her the bird. Su­sanna some­how kept her cool through­out this re­volt­ingly smutty bar­rage, though her shocked and be­wil­dered face said it all.

The stu­dio au­di­ence was vir­tu­ally silent through­out the en­tire rou­tine, ad­ding to the ex­cru­ci­at­ing awk­ward­ness and, I hope, spell­ing the end of these two hideous di­nosaurs as tele­vi­sion per­form­ers.

If any other men did this to a fe­male work col­league, they’d be sacked.

On­line, view­ers vented their wrath at why such of­fen­sive bilge was be­ing aired be­fore the 9pm wa­ter­shed. ‘You OK?’ I texted Su­sanna. ‘I can’t even be­gin...’ she replied, ‘from covering the big­gest break­ing news to hav­ing to avoid look­ing at a fake pe­nis on live TV two days later. CRINGE­ING!’

I con­tin­ued to watch, won­der­ing if my con­tri­bu­tion would be sub­jected to sim­i­lar dis­taste­ful mock­ery.

Hugh Grant, repris­ing his role as Prime Min­is­ter in the mini-se­quel to Love Ac­tu­ally, was asked in a faux No 10 press con­fer­ence: ‘You said the power of good would fi­nally win, that love was all around. Four­teen years later, do you still feel as up­beat?’

Grant replied: ‘Well, ob­vi­ously things have got harder and peo­ple are ner­vous and fear­ful. And it’s not just in politics that things are tough – Usain Bolt has run his last Olympics, the Harry Pot­ter films are fin­ished… and Piers Mor­gan is still alive.’

The room full of real TV news stars (Su­sanna was due to be one of them but loy­ally re­fused to take part when she heard about that line) howled with hi­lar­ity.

So, iron­i­cally, my thank you for rais­ing money to save peo­ple’s lives was en­cour­ag­ing the pub­lic to feel dis­mayed that I’m not dead.

Still, at least I got a big­ger laugh than Vic and Bob.

‘Any truth to the ru­mour Hugh de­manded 100 re­takes on my line just so he could keep say­ing it?’ I asked Cur­tis.

‘No,’ he replied. ‘It pained him and he winced every take at the damned in­jus­tice of it all.’

‘Put me in your next movie as Jes­sica Alba’s love in­ter­est and we’ll say no more about it.’

‘Deal. She asked for ex­actly the same thing just a cou­ple of weeks ago.’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.