‘Your impressions are giv­ing me morn­ing sick­ness’ said Lord Su­gar

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MON­DAY, SEPTEM­BER 18 ‘You com­ing to the Na­tional Re­al­ity TV Awards tonight?’ asked Su­sanna Reid dur­ing a com­mer­cial break on Good Morn­ing Bri­tain.

‘Never heard of them,’ I replied. ‘But they sound ghastly.’

‘We’re up for three awards,’ she con­tin­ued. ‘Best Talk Show, me for Best TV Pre­sen­ter and both of us for Celebrity Per­son­al­ity of the Year.’

‘These things are ut­terly mean­ing­less,’ I sneered.

‘Agreed,’ she nod­ded. ‘Un­less you win one, ob­vi­ously…’

At 10pm, my iPhone buzzed with a mes­sage from Su­sanna that con­tained a photo of her with the award for Best TV Pre­sen­ter and ten smi­ley emoti­cons.

Ten min­utes later, she sent another smirk­ing pic­ture of her­self with the Celebrity Per­son­al­ity of the Year award and the cap­tion: ‘Won both!’

Then a third ar­rived of her al­most ex­plod­ing with gloat­ing joy as she clutched the Best Talk Show award. ‘Hat-trick!’

A fourth photo ar­rived an hour later, fea­tur­ing brightly coloured con­doms.

Whoa… it seemed like my co-host’s ec­static cel­e­bra­tions were get­ting quickly out of hand. ‘The goody bag!’ Su­sanna clar­i­fied. ‘I know how Hil­lary felt now,’ I replied. ‘I won the pop­u­lar vote.’

‘We both know you’d never win a pop­u­lar vote,’ she re­torted.

WED­NES­DAY, SEPTEM­BER 27 Over the past few weeks, I’ve amused my­self on GMB by do­ing im­per­son­ations of every­one from David Beck­ham and Katie Price to a mon­key. Not every­one’s been as amused as me. ‘Piers, don’t take this the wrong way,’ emailed Lord Su­gar as I pre­pared to ad­dress the na­tion to­day, ‘but all this try­ing to im­i­tate peo­ple’s voices and singing chants like “Oh Jeremy Cor­byn” is not do­ing you any favours and start­ing to look like a slap­dash com­edy show. You have done well be­ing con­tro­ver­sial but this stupid voice stuff is OTT. I mean you no harm. Any­way there you are. Alan.’

‘Does this mean I can’t do my Alan Su­gar im­pres­sion to­day?’ I re­sponded.

‘All the pro­fes­sional im­per­son­ators like Rory Brem­ner can’t do it,’ he said, ‘so you have no chance. But se­ri­ously, pack it in – it is very cringey.’

Of course, I then spent much of the next two-and-a-half hours crudely im­per­son­at­ing him in a way that view­ers thought sounded more like Grant Mitchell and Jack Spar­row than the old growler.

Su­gar, whose new Ap­pren­tice se­ries is about to abom­i­nate our air­waves, took it well. ‘I am watch­ing GMB,’ he tweeted, ‘and your impressions are giv­ing me morn­ing sick­ness. I’m not preg­nant.’


Play­boy founder Hugh Hefner has died at the age of 91, leav­ing be­hind his widow Crys­tal, a 31-year-old ex-Playmate. I feel partly re­spon­si­ble for their mar­riage. In Fe­bru­ary 2011, the Hef ap­peared with Crys­tal on my old CNN show to an­nounce their en­gage­ment.

Five months later Hefner reap­peared alone to dis­cuss why Crys­tal had jilted him days be­fore the wed­ding – tak­ing a £300,00 Bent­ley he’d just bought her, and a £70,000 en­gage­ment ring. ‘Do you think she took you for a ride?’ I asked.

‘I think an ar­gu­ment could be made for that, yes,’ he ad­mit­ted. ‘But I must say, it was a pretty nice ride! And she’d have got a lot more if she’d mar­ried me. I missed a bul­let...’

Crys­tal heard this, raced back to Hefner’s arms faster than a hyperactive grey­hound and they wed the next year.

To­day, it emerged that un­der the terms of their pre-nup mar­riage con­tract, Crys­tal will in­herit £3 mil­lion in cash and a lux­ury £5 mil­lion home in the Hol­ly­wood Hills.

So Hefner did even­tu­ally catch that bul­let.

TuES­DAY, Oc­TO­BER 3 The ap­palling mass shoot­ing in Las Ve­gas al­most de­fies be­lief for its scale and hor­ror. I’ve cam­paigned for gun con­trol in Amer­ica since the Sandy Hook atroc­ity in 2012, when I was work­ing for CNN. One of my most en­light­ened con­ver­sa­tions about this ex­plo­sive is­sue came with a fa­mous US ac­tress af­ter another school shoot­ing in 2015 dur­ing the US elec­tion race, when a stu­dent at Um­pqua Col­lege in Ore­gon shot dead a pro­fes­sor and eight other stu­dents in a class­room.

‘What IS it with your na­tion and guns?’ I asked the ac­tress.

‘Shame­ful, I know,’ she replied. ‘It’s so deeply con­tro­ver­sial and brings up so many other is­sues: race re­la­tions, re­li­gious in­tol­er­ances, etc – so since we can’t solve each of those in one fell swoop, the log­i­cal so­lu­tion would be to have much stricter gun laws. But there is re­sis­tance. Not sure how you sleep at night with that over your head un­less you fall into the Trump school of thought that it’s not the guns but the men­tal ill­ness. So then why give men­tally ill peo­ple ac­cess to guns? Legally? It’s stag­ger­ing. I ad­mired your stance at CNN on gun vi­o­lence. Just wish more peo­ple in my coun­try would make a stand about it.’

‘If Amer­ica reg­u­lated guns like it does cars,’ I replied, ‘thou­sands of lives would be saved ev­ery year.’

‘Yes,’ she agreed. ‘I read an in­ter­est­ing thing on In­sta­gram re­cently sug­gest­ing we treat ev­ery man who wants a gun like a young woman who wants an abor­tion. So he’d have a manda­tory 48-hour wait­ing pe­riod, parental per­mis­sion and a note from his doc­tor prov­ing he knows what he’s do­ing. Then he’d be shown a video about the ef­fects of gun vi­o­lence and when he tried to buy one, he’d be made to walk through a bunch of peo­ple call­ing him a mur­derer be­cause their loved ones had been shot dead.’

Good idea from at least one Amer­i­can who un­der­stands some­thing has to be done to stop the slaugh­ter.

The ac­tress was Meghan Markle.

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