I’m pretty sure James Bond would never wear a pa­poose

MY LIFE AND OTHER CELEBRI­TIES

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - NEWS - Piers MOR­GAN

MON­DAY, OC­TO­BER 15

Good Morn­ing Bri­tain’s TV doc­tor Hi­lary Jones runs an un­of­fi­cial surgery for the show’s hypochon­driac pre­sen­ters. ‘I can’t clear my throat very well,’ I told him to­day.

‘Does it get worse the more you think about it?’ Hi­lary asked. ‘Yes!’ ‘You have globus hys­ter­i­cus.’ I laughed. He was se­ri­ous. ‘That’s its name. It’s a mild stress-related re­flux con­di­tion.’

Flick­ing through the pa­pers, I noticed a photo of James Bond star Daniel Craig car­ry­ing his new daugh­ter in a pa­poose.

Last week, I got into a lively de­bate with Su­sanna Reid over these baby slings, which I think look ridicu­lous on men. This was the fi­nal straw. ‘Oh 007... not you as well?!!!’ I tweeted, with the hash­tag #emas­cu­lat­edBond.

In­stantly, pa­poose-lov­ing fathers across the planet erupted with their own form of globus hys­ter­i­cus, led by Cap­tain Amer­ica star Chris Evans, who raged: ‘You re­ally have to be so un­cer­tain of your own mas­culin­ity to con­cern your­self with how an­other man car­ries his child. Any man who wastes time quan­ti­fy­ing mas­culin­ity is ter­ri­fied on the in­side.’

‘Cap­tain Amer­ica would never wear one,’ I re­torted.

Nor, I’m equally cer­tain, would James Bond – can you imag­ine Moneypenny’s crushed face if he ap­peared in M’s of­fice with a pa­poose?

Yet Su­sanna, who once told me her ideal man would be 6ft 2in, tat­tooed and mil­i­tary, in­sisted with a straight face: ‘I’ve never seen James Bond look sex­ier! Papooses set women’s ovaries in mo­tion!’ Oh pu-lease.

As with all Twit­ter storms, I was soon ac­cused of be­ing ‘sex­ist’ for im­ply­ing only women should wear papooses and ‘racist’ for us­ing the word pa­poose at all be­cause it was first coined by Na­tive Amer­i­cans.

TUES­DAY, OC­TO­BER 16

Pa­poose-gate has ex­ploded across the world’s main­stream me­dia.

The Wash­ing­ton Post, the pa­per that broke Water­gate, de­clared: ‘Piers Mor­gan mocked Daniel Craig’s baby car­rier. Twit­ter gave him a les­son on mod­ern man­hood.’ No, Twit­ter just shrieked like a baby.

The ‘most read’ story on the BBC News web­site to­day was about papooses, not Brexit.

News­night did a mocked-up mon­tage of ma­cho men with papooses, from Mar­lon Brando and Sean Con­nery to Muham­mad Ali and Clint East­wood – all of course look­ing ab­surd.

Even NBC Nightly News – Amer­ica’s most pres­ti­gious news pro­gramme – ran a twominute piece on the de­bate, prompt­ing BBC Mid­dle East Ed­i­tor Jeremy Bowen to pon­der when I posted it on In­sta­gram: ‘Power of so­cial me­dia or the power of Piers Mor­gan?’

Kirstie All­sopp, who reg­u­larly tweeted con­tro­ver­sial (and in­vari­ably cor­rect) state­ments then quit Twit­ter when ev­ery­one went bonkers, emailed: ‘You’re right, there is some­thing a bit ugh about it. It’s what a cer­tain type of “I’m all over my kids and want ev­ery­one to know it” dad does. Any­how, get­ting a past­ing is never fun, so send­ing you sup­port­ive hugs.’

‘Thanks,’ I replied, ‘But I’m lov­ing the past­ing.’ And I was, as the faux fury grew in­creas­ingly com­i­cal.

Bette Mi­dler, Hol­ly­wood’s most de­mented Trump-basher, in­evitably brought the Pres­i­dent into the de­bate, tweet­ing me to seethe: ‘Yes, if only he [Craig] could sport badly dyed cot­ton-candy hair painstak­ingly swirled like a cin­na­mon bun to cover scalp surg­eries – AND IF ONLY he could lie count­less hours on a tan­ning bed to keep his com­plex­ion a bright, crispy or­ange. Then – and only then – would he be a real man.’

I knew ex­actly who to turn to for a PC-de­void per­spec­tive. ‘You should do a pa­poose gag in your show,’ I mes­saged Ricky Ger­vais, ‘it sends peo­ple NUTS.’

He replied: ‘How about: “I went back to my old es­tate in Read­ing. So rough. I was shocked to see one of the hood­lums car­ry­ing a baby in a pa­poose… but re­lieved to find out it was just be­cause it was cheaper than a stab vest.”’

WED­NES­DAY, OC­TO­BER 17

Ross Kemp came on GMB to fu­ri­ously de­fend papooses, wear­ing one with a teddy bear in­side. ‘It shows you care Piers!’ he ex­claimed. No mate, it shows you’ve lost your mar­bles. Co­me­dian Harry Hill was also a guest, os­ten­si­bly to teach Su­sanna and I how to make large cus­tard pies. Of course, he promptly pied me in the face, af­ter declar­ing: ‘This is for Ross Kemp, for Daniel Craig, for all the guys who wear papooses!’

‘You OK?’ asked gig­gling Su­sanna, with fake con­cern. So I pied her, and then Hill.

THURS­DAY, OC­TO­BER 18

Craig’s wife, Rachel Weisz, was asked about Pa­poose-gate on the red car­pet of her new film The Favourite. ‘What is a pa­poose?’ she replied, be­mused. I find this en­cour­ag­ing – per­haps she has no idea Daniel’s been sneak­ing out in one.

FRI­DAY, OC­TO­BER 19

Scot­land’s top­i­cal com­edy show Break­ing The News noted my op­po­si­tion to papooses was ‘rather ironic’ given ‘the abil­ity to carry a scream­ing, tem­per­a­men­tal child is the rea­son Su­sanna Reid got the job as his co-pre­sen­ter’.

Iron­i­cally, af­ter a glob­ally hys­ter­i­cal week, my globus hys­ter­i­cus has cured it­self.

SUN­DAY OC­TO­BER 21

Ap­pren­tice star Kar­ren Brady has whacked me for sup­pos­edly sug­gest­ing it was ‘sissy’ or ‘de­mean­ing’ for a man to care for his baby, and thus dam­ag­ing the bat­tle for gen­der equal­ity. But I’ve never said a man car­ing for his child is emas­cu­lat­ing, only that wear­ing a pa­poose is. Af­ter all, I’ve car­ried my own four chil­dren for years – with my own arms, and on my own shoul­ders.

MON­DAY, OC­TO­BER 22

Daniel Craig has been snapped again in New York, this time car­ry­ing his baby with­out a pa­poose. He looked mag­nif­i­cently manly – I rest my case. My fi­nal thought is this: male kangaroos don’t have pouches. Do the maths.

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