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


‘Fancy play­ing in a char­ity cricket match for my Eng­land Le­gends XI against my lo­cal club?’ Fred­die Flintoff asked me re­cently.

I rocked up at Alder­ley Edge Cricket Club in Cheshire to­day to find Flintoff, Michael Vaughan, Steve Harmi­son, Si­mon Jones, Geraint Jones, Alex Tu­dor, Adam Hol­lioake, Do­minic Cork, Monty Pane­sar and Glen Chap­ple.

I was the ONLY non-Eng­land Leg­end. The op­po­si­tion, cur­rent Cheshire League cham­pi­ons, fielded an Aus­tralian pro­fes­sional fast bowler named Hamish. ‘He’s very quick,’ warned one lo­cal. ‘He’s no Brett Lee,’ I replied. ‘I wouldn’t tell him that…’ the lo­cal chuck­led.

Hamish ar­rived, so I told him: ‘You’re no Brett Lee…’ He smirked, wor­ry­ingly. We fielded first and Alder­ley Edge scored 170. Then it was our turn to bat. Flintoff con­fi­dently strode out with 50 to win. ‘I’ve got this,’ he roared. He was bowled first ball. I was next in, so passed him as he sheep­ishly slunk back to the pavil­ion. ‘Re­lax skip, I’VE got this,’ I laughed. Hamish was brought on im­me­di­ately, pawed the turf like an en­raged Pam­plona bull let loose to spear fool­ish tourists, and bowled me a vi­cious bouncer that sent me div­ing for cover.

‘Oh dear,’ chor­tled the com­men­ta­tor, for­mer Eng­land star and Sky pre­sen­ter Paul Al­lott. ‘This is like that Brett Lee fi­asco all over again!’

Next ball, Hamish over­pitched and I smashed him for four.

The 2,000-strong crowd erupted, as he sank to his knees in hor­ror.

I tapped him on the back­side with my bat. ‘Like I said mate, you’re no Brett Lee.’

He bowled the next ball even faster and I crashed him over his head for an­other four. Hu­mil­i­ated, Hamish was taken off. ‘Know the worst thing about this?’ I chor­tled, as he sloped away. ‘What?’ he mut­tered. ‘5.9 mil­lion peo­ple are go­ing to read about it on Twit­ter.’

I was out soon af­ter but re­turned to a hero’s wel­come from my star­tled team-mates.

‘I take it all back,’ ad­mit­ted Al­lott. ‘I was wrong about your cricket skills Mor­gan, and I apol­o­gise.’

Fred­die was less gen­er­ous: ‘If there’s one thing worse than get­ting a golden duck in front of your home crowd, it’s watch­ing Piers bloody Mor­gan then smash it around the park. Proper shots too!’

Talk­ing of proper shots, Eng­land star Jimmy An­der­son’s wife Daniella cel­e­brated my in­nings by or­der­ing nu­mer­ous trays of lethal tequila slam­mers with cin­na­mon and sliced or­ange.

Af­ter the fifth one, she in­formed me: ‘My friend Kerry has al­ways wanted to punch you in the face.’

Kerry ad­mit­ted this was true but clar­i­fied: ‘You don’t seem quite so ter­ri­ble in the flesh.’

‘I’m more pop­u­lar than you think,’ I ob­served.

A stew­ard ap­proached. ‘Piers, some fans want a selfie. Do you mind?’

‘Of course!’ I said, wink­ing smugly at Daniella and Kerry and walk­ing over to two big, burly heav­ily in­tox­i­cated men.

They put me be­tween them, then clamped my arms so I couldn’t move and filmed them­selves shout­ing at me: ‘Piers Mor­gan is a com­plete c***!’

On a more pos­i­tive note, the day raised thou­sands for Prostate Can­cer UK and the club’s ju­nior cricket academy.


Doc­tor Who is to be played for the first time by a woman.

I’m hor­ri­fied at this mas­sive in­sult to the non-bi­nary, gen­der-neu­tral com­mu­nity and can only hope it is rec­ti­fied by mak­ing all the Daleks gen­der-fluid, so they iden­tify as male or fe­male in dif­fer­ent episodes de­pend­ing on their ex­ter­mi­nat­ing mood.


The Guardian has pub­lished a be­hindthe-scenes fea­ture on Good Morn­ing Bri­tain, in which the writer tries to work out which fa­mous cou­ple most re­mind her of Su­sanna Reid and me.

‘Ed­i­tor Neil Thomp­son tells me the co­hosts’ re­la­tion­ship is sim­i­lar to Jack and Vera Duck­worth [the Corona­tion Street cou­ple who tol­er­ated each other grudg­ingly],’ she opines, ‘as op­posed to Don and Betty Draper [the Mad Men cou­ple who de­test each other]: “They love each other, but they also drive each other crazy.” In my mind, the re­la­tion­ship it most mir­rors is that of Ron Bur­gundy and Veron­ica Corn­ing­stone in the film An­chor­man, where a com­pe­tent, in­tel­li­gent woman bat­tles to main­tain her pro­fes­sion­al­ism when faced with the in­ces­sant wit­ter­ings of a man en­tirely lack­ing in self-aware­ness.’

FYI: Ron Bur­gundy ends up mar­ry­ing Veron­ica af­ter she con­fesses: ‘Oh Ron, there are lit­er­ally thou­sands of other men that I should be with in­stead, but I am 72 per cent sure that I love you.’

I men­tioned this to Su­sanna, who pon­dered for a few sec­onds then replied: ‘0.72 per cent.’


Din­ner in Bev­erly Hills with ‘Saint’ Gary Lineker, whose po­lit­i­cally cor­rect halo has taken a bit of a bat­ter­ing since the BBC salary scan­dal re­vealed he earns 1,000 times as much as Clare Bald­ing’s dog, or some­thing.

I think Lineker’s worth ev­ery penny. He’s one of the best live broad­cast­ers in the coun­try and any­way, how do you eval­u­ate the foot­ball pun­ditry ex­per­tise of a man who was one of Eng­land’s great­est ever strik­ers?

I hear peo­ple say any­one could host Match Of The Day, but could they do it from the per­spec­tive of some­one who won the Golden Boot at a World Cup?

Nonethe­less, that doesn’t mean I’m not thor­oughly en­joy­ing his cur­rent squirm­ing.

‘Hi mate,’ I said when we met tonight. ‘Would you mind sit­ting with your back to the restau­rant?’ Gary looked puz­zled. ‘Why?’ ‘Be­cause we have ar­rived at a unique sit­u­a­tion in our re­la­tion­ship where it is now more brand-dam­ag­ing for me to be seen out with you than the other way round.’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.