Ernie Els fist-bumped me with the immortal words: ‘The Big Morgy!’
MONDAY, MAY 22
I sped to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show after presenting Good Morning Britain, and bumped straight into Sophie Raworth, once my favourite long-liquid-lunch partner but now a disturbingly clean-living, marathonrunning addict.
‘Enjoying the early starts?’ she beamed, knowingly. ‘They’re killing me,’ I groaned.
Sophie hosted BBC’s Breakfast for two years with Jeremy Bowen, who revealed this week that the show took a greater toll on his health than 25 years of war reporting.
‘I started getting these unexpected stomach pains,’ said Bowen. ‘They never got to the bottom of it. Then I stopped getting up at 3.30am, and the pains went away.’
Sophie grimaced at the memory. ‘Jeremy genuinely thought he was dying!’
‘I know the feeling,’ I nodded. ‘But if it does kill me, at least I’ll have the comfort of going to my grave never having run a marathon.’
Superchef and fellow Arsenal fan Raymond Blanc was also at the flower show. He was wildly excited by rumours of his friend Arsène Wenger signing a new contract as manager, despite 13 years of Premier League failure.
‘I couldn’t be happier!’ he exclaimed. ‘I couldn’t be unhappier,’ I replied. ‘I know. That makes me even happier!’ he guffawed.
He then spent 10 minutes animatedly detailing to my parents how he makes his beetroot terrine with horseradish sorbet, after I said it was one of the greatest things I’d ever eaten.
If Wenger had half his Gallic mate’s passion, intensity, genius and flair, Arsenal might win the League again.
TUESDAY, MAY 23
Very sad to hear that Sir Roger Moore has died. Of all the 84 guests I’ve interviewed on Life Stories, he was the most charming. He was also the perfect gentleman.
He told me he’d say to all Bond girls before filming a sex scene: ‘Excuse me, I want to apologise now if I get an erection.’ Then he’d pause before adding: ‘And if I don’t.’
WEDNESDAY, MAY 24
Few things unsettle me, but attending the star-studded BMW PGA pro-am golf tournament at Wentworth as a player is most definitely one of them.
It’s one thing to shank my way round a course with just my playing partners to witness it; it’s quite another to do it in front of 20,000 spectators and on Sky Sports.
It was a blisteringly hot day, so I opted for shorts and ankle socks, thus revealing legs so uncontaminated by recent sunshine, an albino would reject them as too ashen.
‘There’s a ban on thigh-length white socks,’ Alan Shearer scoffed when he saw me on the practice putting green, causing Ian Wright to explode with laughter.
My team was made up of cricket legends Kevin Pietersen and Brian Lara, and golfing great Ernie ‘the Big Easy’ Els.
There was a large crowd waiting as we arrived at our first tee, including my breakfast TV ‘rival’ Dan Walker. ‘Don’t get nervous, Piers,’ he shouted. ‘I know you’re not used to an audience this big…’ ‘Have a nice dull, predictable, entertainment-devoid round,’ I countered. ‘Like your show.’
The highlight of a fantastic day came when I miraculously holed a 20ft putt and Els fistbumped me with the immortal words: ‘The Big Morgy!’ The lowlight came when a seven-yearold boy asked for an autograph. ‘Thanks,’ he said after I’d signed his programme. ‘By the way, my dad thinks you’re a complete chopper.
FRIDAY, MAY 26
There are few things more embarrassing than trying to wrestle a packed carry-on case into an undersized overhead plane luggage locker. For several minutes on a flight to Nice, I pushed, pulled, punched and rammed away, but still my case resolutely refused to slide in.
A line of passengers built up, observing the humiliating spectacle in fuming silence. ‘Maybe take out some of ze clothes?’ snapped an exasperated Frenchman eventually. Suddenly, Brexit didn’t seem such a bad idea.
I re-attacked the case with venom, finally smashing it in with a worryingly loud crunching sound. ‘Struggling there, Mr Morgan?’ chuckled a burly-framed, shaven-headed, nose-mangled man behind me.
It was Mike Tindall, former England rugby captain. Behind him was his wife, Zara Phillips, 16th in line to the British throne.
She was staring at the floor, slowly shaking her head like she’d just encountered the village idiot.
MONDAY, MAY 29
I’m in St Tropez for half term with my family, and tonight we went for a post-dinner stroll through the port. ‘This is where all the superyachts are parked,’ I told my nieces, ‘usually full of the world’s most annoying people.’
As if on cue, my brother exclaimed: ‘Good God, that looks like Jeremy Clarkson!’
WHAT? Sure enough, there was the unmistakable physique of my once mortal enemy lurking in the bowels of a majesticlooking wooden vessel. ‘Clarkson!’ I bellowed.
He reacted like a harpoon had just jagged into his expansive lower-abdominal region. ‘Morgan! What the **** are you doing here?!’
‘Looking for someone to clean my dad’s car,’ I replied. ‘You free?’
In the good old days of our 10-year feud, we’d have started clubbing each other to death. Instead, to the bemusement of my family, we exchanged warm handshakes and greetings.
‘I’m completely trollied,’ Clarkson declared. ‘Not entirely sure how I even got here, though I think it involved a helicopter.’
WEDNESDAY, MAY 31
Arsène Wenger today signed a new two-year contract. It’s extraordinary how icily detached I now feel about someone I once so ardently worshipped. As Socrates said: ‘The hottest love has the coldest end.’
I will never mention his name again.