Piers morgan

Diary – 14 July 2016

I first met a boyish, sunny Tony Blair more than 20 years ago. Our encounters have always been slightly tense since I reported some clumsy remarks he made about tax when he was still an apprentice PM — and he reacted much as Andrea Leadsom did against the Times last week (though via A. Campbell rather than Twitter). On Wednesday afternoon at Admiralty House he is a stricken caricature of how he was: painfully thin; waxy skin; astonishingly terrible teeth. He is a brilliant actor but not that good: he has been tormenting himself over Chilcot. But he isn’t sorry for the invasion, as he told me, and would do

Diary – 11 February 2016

While browsing in Barter Books, the wonderful secondhand bookshop in Alnwick that is fast becoming a national institution, I came across a volume of Piers Morgan’s diaries, covering his two years in the United States, judging America’s Got Talent and taking part in Celebrity Apprentice (the Alan Sugar role being played by one Donald Trump). I cannot claim to have been all that keen on Morgan ever since I discovered that in the mid-1990s, when he was an agent of Murdoch, he penned a note to Tony Blair demanding that he silence ‘idiots like Mullin shouting their mouths off about “loathsome tabloids” and my owner’. As you might expect, the

Diary – 1 October 2015

Party conference season is the most pointless waste of money, time and liver quality ever devised. I attended these sweaty, drunken gatherings for ten years during my newspaper-editor days and achieved nothing constructive other than clarity over which is the best way to treat a monstrous hangover. (Answer: my late grandmother’s recipe of vine tomatoes on toast, laden with thick Marmite and gargantuan grinds from a pepper mill.) But they were fun, so long as I adhered to the golden rule: always leave the bar before 2 a.m., thus avoiding the moment when enough alcohol emboldens other delegates, and indeed one’s own staff, to tell you what they really think

Diary – 25 June 2015

My husband says I only write books in order to have a launch party. Not so. I also write books in order to give the author speech at the party. To this end, I hired a wild warehouse under the Westway flyover. Faced with a stream of emails from PAs asking things like whether vegan canapés would be served, and a direct call from financier Peter Soros asking whether 7 p.m. to midnight meant dinner or ‘cocktail prolongé’, I replied that it was BYOB — buy your own burgers. The great, the good, the bad, the ugly and the US ambassador streamed in to drink my wine out of plastic beakers.

Home and away | 7 May 2015

An extraordinary black-and-white photograph of a young black boy taken on the Isle of Wight by Julia Margaret Cameron in 1868 shows him in exotic clothes and a heavy silver-bead necklace, like a chain-of-office or a prisoner’s collar. He looks so sad, reminding me of the caged lions in London Zoo, his eyes heavy-laden, his listless body lacking the restless energy you would expect of a seven-year-old. He is Prince Alemayehu of Ethiopia, brought to England after his father, the emperor, committed suicide in his palace at Addis Ababa having just been defeated by the British. His story featured on Lemn Sissay’s Homecoming (Radio 4), broadcast in the ‘comedy slot’

Simon Barnes’s diary: A sportswriter is never without a big subject (unless it’s golf)

Sport is like love: it can only really hurt you if you care. Or for that matter, bring joy. You can’t explain sport, any more than you can explain the Goldberg Variations: you either get it or you don’t. So it can be hard to justify a life spent among bats and balls and leaping horses. I spent 32 years writing about sport for the Times, the last 12 as chief sportswriter, all of which comes to an close at the end of this month when I become News International’s latest economy, doomed to wander Fleet Street (is it still there?) wearing a luggage label that reads ‘Please look after

And the prize for most fatuous awards ceremony goes to…

‘Prizes are for boys,’ said Charles Ives, the American composer, upon receiving the Pulitzer in 1947, ‘and I’ve grown up now.’ He was using humour to make a serious point, but it would be lost on many people today. Never has there been a lusher time for self-congratulation; when all, as in Alice in Wonderland, must have prizes. Not all prizes are bad. Nathan Filer, who collected the Costa last month for his first novel, The Shock of the Fall, was granted the kind of recognition that evades most first-time authors. The Costa, formerly the Whitbread, has a reputable tradition that values quality of writing above commercial considerations. Good for

Celia Walden’s diary: Have I finally caught my husband in an affair?

For a minute I just stood there with my back against the wall, staring at the credit card receipt. Then I slid down into a crouching position on the kitchen floor. ‘So this is it,’ I thought to myself. ‘This is really going to be how I find out.’ I’d found the receipt in the front pocket of one of my husband’s suitcases on Tuesday morning. It was for dinner for two at the Four Seasons Hotel in Santa Barbara — a place he’d told me he’d never been. He’d had the Merlot and the rib-eye; she’d had the cucumber martini and a Caesar salad. I’m guessing that she waived

James Delingpole: I don’t automatically support Piers Morgan. So why should women automatically support Julia Gillard?

I’ve been racking my brains to think what I might have in common with Kim Jong Un and Piers Morgan. But apart from owning a spectacularly tiny penis, I simply cannot think. Certainly, when Kim is getting it in the neck for having one of his ex-girlfriends executed by firing squad to please his wife, or whenever Morgan is being criticised for being just the worst thing ever, I never find myself seized with some sudden hormonal urge to rush to their defence on account of the fact that we’re all part of the Brotherhood. Maybe, though, we’re missing a trick. Maybe we chaps of the world could enjoy so

Do Americans really want more Piers Morgans?

An American journalist called David Carr wrote an amusing piece for the New York Times earlier this week about the latest British invasion. To hear him tell it, we’ve captured the commanding heights of the US media, including Vogue, Cosmopolitan, NBC News, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Daily News and, of course, the New York Times itself, which is run by former BBC director-general Mark Thompson. The latest citadel to fall is The Daily Show, with a Brummie comedian having temporarily taken over presenting duties from Jon Stewart. The article produced mixed feelings in me because I spent the years 1995–2000 trying to ‘take’ Manhattan, all to no