Piers Morgan: The Insider


Last updated at 19:12 07 December 2007

This week, Piers discusses the virtues of silence with Stella McCartney regarding her stepmother Heather Mills at the British Fashion Awards and nearly crashes his Maserati while listening to Jeremy Clarkson and Ian Hislop on a Five Live radio show


The British Fashion Awards have never figured massively in my social calendar. All those paranoid, anorexic, drug-snorting stick insects in the same room bitching about each other's cellulite is not my idea of a fun night out.

But it was either that or watching Christopher Biggins and Janice Dickinson scrap it out in the jungle over who has the biggest breasts and most annoying laugh.

So I opted for the awards, which turned out to

be surprisingly good fun. Sarah Brown won the unofficial Bravest Woman of the Night award for turning

up at all, given all the flak her husband's getting at

the moment.

"How are you bearing up?" I asked her over canapés and champagne.

"Oh, it's just a storm," she said. "It will pass."

"Maybe, but this one has a hurricane feel to it."

"It's fine. In fact, it doesn't seem that different to the last job, really, it's just that the highs seem a bit higher and the lows a bit lower. Gordon is handling it all remarkably calmly."

And he probably is. When you've nearly gone blind as a teenager, and lost a child as an adult, then a few rough headlines probably aren't going to depress you too much. Particularly when they are written by people who called him a washed-up has-been in June, the greatest new Prime Minister of the century by September, and now a useless dud again. Bloody press, eh!

When the awards started, Vivienne Westwood – whose hair is so shockingly red it genuinely looks like someone has just set fire to it – made an endearingly barking speech, confirming her status as Britain's Maddest Fashion Icon.

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A series of tiny, very camp male designers then trotted up on stage to tearfully thank the world and receive their awards from gigantically tall models like Erin O'Connor (Little And Large had nothing on this lot) while presenter Zoë Ball skilfully managed to avoid making me laugh once.

The dreary procession was saved by Stella McCartney, winner of the top award of "Designer of the Year," who movingly thanked, among others, her "mum and dad" for all their support. No mention of her delightful stepmother, I was pleased to note.

Afterwards, I spotted Stella walking down some stairs to the ladies' cloakroom. I'd never met her, but felt a sudden burning urge to do so. I ran down after her, stopping her by the arm.

"Excuse me, Stella."

She turned in her tracks, looking strikingly like her mother, Linda. "I'm Piers Morgan, and since I am one of the few people in the world who loathes Heather Mills more than you do, I thought it was time I said hello."

She smiled. "Oh yes, I know all about you… Dad always says you tried to warn him about Heather!"

"Well, that's true, but unfortunately it was a bit late given that I introduced them in the first place."

Stella shook her head slowly, then laughed: "Yes, thanks very much."

"I think you have all been very dignified in your silence," I said. "There is nothing more powerful than saying nothing when someone goes on a global rant."

"Well, silence is always the most dignified way of dealing with something like this," she replied.

"Yes, especially when that something is a raving bloody lunatic."

Stella stifled a giggle. "You might well think that, Piers – I couldn't possibly comment."


No sooner had I hit the airwaves touting Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp as the next England manager than he was arrested today and quizzed about some transfer deal.

I recently had the pleasure of spending a morning with him and his wife Sandra at their stunning home on Sandbanks, next to Poole Harbour.

They are one of the nicest, and happiest, couples I've ever met. "Sandra's my best friend," Harry told me several times, causing her to blush with pride.

So I texted him a message of support this morning, and he rang me straight back – enraged by both the arrest and the ridiculous behaviour of the police, who raided his house at 6am while he was away, terrifying his wife in the process.

"I swear on Sandra's life that I have done nothing wrong," he said angrily.

A statement that, having seen them at close quarters together, is good enough for me.

And given the choice between the best English manager in the business, or that gobby self-promoting Portuguese goon Jose Mourinho, I know who I would rather see get the job.


There are very few things in life that instantly cause me to lose control of a car; Eva Mendes strutting across a pelican crossing in a leopard-skin bikini might do it, or finding Nelson Mandela working as a lollipop man outside my sons' school, perhaps.

But this afternoon, I was subjected to perhaps the greatest motoring challenge of my life – how to continue moving in a straight line down the M40 when I'd just heard Simon Mayo announce on his Five Live show: "My special guests today are Jeremy Clarkson and Ian Hislop."

My Maserati went into spontaneous careering mode, swerving from lane to lane like a Tour de France cyclist trying to evade a dope-tester.

And sure enough, Mayo's very first question was: "So, gentlemen, here is a road test idea for you. You're both in supercars and we set Piers Morgan off like a fox, running as fast as he can, and we see which of you can get to him first…"

I waited for the inevitable torrent of abuse, but was pleasantly surprised.

"I think Piers is tremendous," said Jeremy.

"Yes, you mustn't be fooled by this media idea that we all hate each other," said Ian.

"No… he's terrific fun. He's round my house all the time," agreed Jeremy.

"And his career has gone from strength to strength," added Ian. "Who could begrudge him all his international success and money? I am really happy for him."

At which point I unfortunately hit a bad signal area of Oxfordshire, and so didn't get to hear the rest of their extraordinary eulogy.

Now, mean-spirited cynics have suggested it may not have been entirely sincere, particularly after I lost reception, but I personally can't think of two more sincere men in the world than Jezza and Moonface.

Guys, I'm touched. Thank you.


I was sitting in a café in Chelsea this morning having a coffee when I spotted a familiar face strolling past on his own, wearing a cloth cap and clutching a plastic shopping bag.

It was Eric Clapton, proving that even the biggest celebrities can lead perfectly normal lives if they actually want to. Hugh Grant… are you listening?

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