Brits know Piers Morgan well, Editor of the News OF The World and then the Daily Mirror newspapers, celebrity obsessive, left-winger and smarmy bastard. But, taking over from Larry King on CNN in January, most people in the US only know him from judging America’s Got Talent. So here’s some fun facts for you.
1) As editor of the Mirror, he got in trouble for buying £67,000 worth of shares in technology company Viglen, emptying his bank acount, the day before his paper’s market tips column would give the shares a nod. He then sold them a week later at a massive markup. When recently interviewing British businessman Alan Sugar, Sugar would repeat the word “Viglen” whenever he didn’t like a line of questioning and the production team would have to edit it out. US celebrities are free to try it on his new show.
2) Piers was fired as editor of the Daily Mirror after he printed front page photos of UK soldiers torturing Iraqis that were then revealed to be faked.
3) In 2003 he called George W Bush an idiot for falling off a Segway. In 2007 Piers would fall off a Segway and break three ribs.
4) After clashing with satirical magazine editor Ian Hislop on the topical TV panel show Have I Got News For You, Morgan used Daily Mirror journalists to try and dig up embarrassing secrets about Hislop and sent photographers to doorstep him. No resulting material was ever published.
5) At the British Press Awards in 2004, Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson punched Piers Morgan three times over the Mirror’s allegations about his private life – and that he didn’t write his column for rival newspaper The Sun himself.
6) In his published diaries, Piers Morgan describes a visit to Number Ten Downing Street, invited by Tony Blair, Prime Minister, well before Blair was actually elected. Cherie Blair described Piers as “a man with no moral compass”.
Welcome, America, to Piers Morgan. Is there any chance you could keep him now?