Alec Marsh

You’ll miss Piers Morgan when he’s gone

You'll miss Piers Morgan when he's gone
(Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)
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Why is anybody offended by Piers Morgan? That’s the point. It’s his job to be offensive. It’s his job to say out loud what many in society are thinking but lack either the courage or the platform to voice. He is the Wat Tyler of the Whatsapp age.

Now of course you won’t always agree with him — perish the thought — but the fact of his existence within the mainstream media ensures the expression of opinions that polite society might find distasteful. There is something almost dialectic about Morgan’s performances. His job is to provoke, and in their response the viewer better knows his or her own mind.

But here’s the catch, sometimes his assertions are abrasive and his questions challenging, just as they were in respect of the Duchess of Sussex.

He has asked challenging questions before — often of politicians who rightly regard him as a formidable interviewer. It takes balls to break down the facades politicians cower behind and Morgan has them in spades.

Many of those who are now condemning Morgan were, a few months ago, praising him for his fearless broadsides against the government over their handling of the pandemic. The fact that you can find yourself violently nodding along as he flays some poor junior minister and then, in the space of just a few minutes, savagely oppose some other Morgan tirade is entirely the point. He finds a position and then ruthlessly pursues it.

Sitting at his broad desk on ITV every morning he resembled the Bligh-like captain of warship — meting out justice, deserved and ill-deserved as the case may be. They may not realise it but ITV will need to find another Piers Morgan soon, otherwise their morning television show is sunk. It will drift into the doldrums and soon become as forgettable as it was previously. Who hosted it before Morgan? Google it.

Puffing out his suits and his chins on a daily basis, Morgan was brilliant. He was the media equivalent of the first cup of coffee and cigarette of the day: a powerful chemical weapon voiding us of pent up spleen, deep in the bowels of the British national psyche.

So I for one will miss Morgan. Not that I watched him very often — but I loved seeing him on social media, skewering politicians or saying things that you might reasonably expect only a taxi driver to say — having drunk his weight in booze first.

And whether you like what he says about Meghan or not is strictly irrelevant. He was just doing his job: provoking us and challenging us as viewers, as human beings, just as he provokes and challenges his interviewees.

That his latest opinions — difficult, offensive as they certainly are to many — are somehow at odds with him continuing in his role at ITV, speaks volumes. And as a result Morgan walks. The usual suspects will chalk this up as a victory, but in the end they will miss him. Remember, you can cancel almost everything and everyone if you want to, but you can’t cancel banality.