‘Cher smelled like a mer­maid,’ said Gregg All­man. ‘I’ll never for­get it’

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


Lily Allen and Char­lotte Church seem to be in per­ma­nent com­pe­ti­tion for the crown of Bri­tain’s Most Po­lit­i­cally Naive and Ir­ri­tat­ing Pop Singer.

To­day, in re­sponse to my sug­ges­tion, fol­low­ing the Manch­ester ter­ror at­tack, that de­cent, law-abid­ing Mus­lims should do more to root out rad­i­calised mem­bers of their com­mu­ni­ties, Ms Church tweeted: ‘By your logic, men should do more to root out rapists. Doesn’t re­ally work like that does it?’

I stared at these breath­tak­ingly stupid words for sev­eral long sec­onds, and de­cided there was sim­ply no point try­ing to de­bate with some­body this dim.

‘I can’t deal with your level of ab­surd, virtue-sig­nalling ig­no­rance to­day,’ I replied, ‘sorry.’

Then Ms Allen piped up: ‘Please ig­nore Piers, he thrives on hate. Don’t en­gage.’

This from an in­suf­fer­ably hate-spew­ing crea­ture who was, iron­i­cally, both fail­ing to ig­nore me and en­gag­ing with me, and who doesn’t seem to un­der­stand it’s per­fectly pos­si­ble to hate Is­lamist ter­ror­ists, but not hate all Mus­lims. ‘Pipe down, you ridicu­lous PCcrazed, at­ten­tion-seek­ing, hate-stir­ring, de­luded clown,’ I re­torted.

No of­fence to either lady – ob­vi­ously! – but if they put as much en­ergy into their music as they do into de­mon­i­cally abus­ing any­one who dis­agrees with their opin­ions, their ca­reers might not now be lan­guish­ing one step away from munch­ing kan­ga­roo tes­ti­cles on I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!


No man more vo­ra­ciously em­braced rock ’n’ roll’s sex, drugs and par­ty­ing ex­ces­sively lifestyle than Gregg All­man, tal­is­man leader of The All­man Broth­ers Band, who died to­day.

‘If I fell over dead to­day,’ he told me when I in­ter­viewed him for CNN in 2011, ‘I’ve had me a blast, I wouldn’t trade my life for no­body’s.’

Then he paused and chuck­led. ‘But I don’t know if I’d go through it all again!’

He broke the news in our chat that he was get­ting mar­ried for the sev­enth time, to a stun­ning 24-year-old blonde sit­ting in the au­di­ence. All­man’s third wife was Cher. In his au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, he’d writ­ten: ‘Cher smelled like a mer­maid. I’ve never smelled it since and I’ll never for­get it.’

So I asked what struck me as the ob­vi­ous sup­ple­men­tary ques­tion: ‘Have you ever ac­tu­ally smelled a mer­maid?’

He smirked. ‘That would be a scoop, right?’

‘How would you like to be re­mem­bered?’ I asked. ‘As some­body who could rock your soul or make you cry with a song, and some­body who’s kind, loved to laugh and loved his God.’ RIP Gregg All­man, a leg­end on and off stage.


James Cor­den has brought his US chat show to Lon­don for the week. By co­in­ci­dence, a new sur­vey in Amer­ica re­vealed I’m the ‘most-Google-searched talk show host’ in nine states: Wash­ing­ton, Alaska, Ari­zona, Colorado, Vir­ginia, Con­necti­cut, Florida, Ne­vada and Mas­sachusetts. So in a fifth of Amer­ica, I beat the likes of Oprah, Ellen, Jerry Springer and to my joy, one Mr Cor­den. This, de­spite me leav­ing CNN three years ago. I glee­fully tweeted him a link to the sur­vey. ‘Oh, Piers, that’s adorable,’ he replied. ‘So happy for you! I re­mem­ber when you used to send me stuff like this… AGES ago!’

He en­closed a screen­shot of an old tweet of mine from 2011 when I passed his fol­lower count on Twit­ter. ‘Sorry, James, but I’m now of­fi­cially more pop­u­lar than you,’ I’d gloated, adding the hash­tag: #tax­i­for­jimbo.

Well, ‘Jimbo’ now has nearly twice as many fol­low­ers as me (9m to 5.8m), and as for taxis, I un­der­stand his pre­ferred mode of travel in LA is a €250,000 As­ton Martin Van­quish.


Another day, another Twit­ter troll of­fer­ing his suc­cinct thoughts on my gen­eral in­ad­e­quacy.

‘You’re an a**hole,’ said a gen­tle­man from Texas, which had not been on the list of US states who still love me. ‘Al­ways have been and al­ways will be an a**hole. A bloated, blab­ber­ing loose-lip snooty a**hole.’

I checked his pro­file and it dis­closed that my fan is a psy­chi­a­trist. ‘Thanks Doc,’ I replied, ‘any neg­a­tives?’ To which Ricky Ger­vais re­sponded: ‘I love the fact that, be­cause you’re not his pa­tient, he didn’t have to keep his di­ag­no­sis con­fi­den­tial.’


Su­sanna Reid and I hosted an ex­tended post­elec­tion Good Morn­ing Bri­tain spe­cial, which was a wildly ex­cit­ing af­fair given all the hung Par­lia­ment chaos that erupted overnight in the UK.

Nigel Farage sat down at the desk for an in­ter­view just as my reg­u­lar 7.30am plate of toast and Mar­mite ar­rived.

‘Mar­mite?’ he chuck­led. ‘Of course! You were al­ways go­ing to be a Mar­mite-eater weren’t you, Piers… ha­haha… be­ing such a Mar­mite char­ac­ter!’

I looked at the sin­gle most di­vi­sive, opin­ion-split­ting char­ac­ter in mod­ern Bri­tish pol­i­tics and replied: ‘Yes, Nigel. Fancy a slice?’

As al­ways with elec­tions, the most fun came in see­ing a few big beasts in the West­min­ster jun­gle los­ing their seats. It’s the purest, most bru­tal em­bod­i­ment of real democ­racy.

Last week, Su­sanna asked me who I’d most like to see get their come-up­pance. ‘Nick Clegg,’ I replied, un­hesi­tat­ingly. The fork-tongued for­mer Lib­eral Demo­crat leader and I have locked horns for years, cul­mi­nat­ing in him fu­ri­ously brand­ing me ‘pompous’ on GMB last month when I dared to re­mind him about his dis­grace­ful U-turn over tuition fees.

Well, in the early hours of this morn­ing, Clegg duly lost his seat.

Vot­ers, it tran­spired, were as un­for­giv­ing of his cyn­i­cal lies as me.

‘You live by the sword, you die by the sword,’ he con­ceded.

Which is about the only truth­ful thing he’s ever said.

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