Me and my big mouth: 'You're so desperate to be famous it's pathetic,' snarled Sharon Osbourne prodding my face

After years spent exposing the rich and famous as the editor of a red-top Fleet Street newspaper, Piers Morgan has now become the ultimate celebrity insider as a judge with Simon Cowell on the television shows Britain's Got Talent and America's Got Talent. But that hasn't stopped him being wildly indiscreet and entertaining  -  as this second instalment from his latest diaries reveals...

Piers Morgan

Dust-up: Piers Morgan had a fall out with Sharon after he published his book Don't You Know Who I Am? which offended several celebrities


Up to Birmingham to start filming the Britain's Got Talent audition shows. The third judge was going to be Cheryl Cole, but on Friday she pulled out.

Last night, Cowell texted me the name of her replacement: Amanda Holden.

Uh-oh. The Mirror, under my editorship, exposed Amanda's affair with Neil Morrissey while she was still married to Les Dennis. Hardly the best way to endear myself to my co-panellist.

'Another day of Britain's Got Talent... another collection of socially dysfunctional misfits'


We met for the first time in the hotel bar tonight, and she was understandably guarded.

Mind you, she's now engaged to a dashing young music producer and they've got a beautiful baby daughter. And her career has gone from strength to strength.

So, as I pointed out to her: 'You should really be thanking me, Amanda.'

She paused for thought. 'You're right,' she replied, her voice drowning in sarcasm. 'Thank you so much, Piers.'


We walked out to a 1,000-strong audience in the theatre. Me to apathy and jeers. Amanda to rapturous applause. And finally Cowell, to the kind of hysterical screaming that made The Beatles pack in live gigs. His fame is now at a preposterous level.

'It wasn't always like this,' he admitted during a fag break (he smokes 40 cigarettes a day).

Got back to the hotel feeling absolutely exhausted. People think this judging lark is easy, but eight hours of watching horrific auditions in front of a live audience would test anyone.


Another day, another collection of socially dysfunctional misfits convinced they are the next Whitney Houston or David Blaine.

The warm-up man, Ian Royce, summed it up perfectly: 'We should rename this show Britain's Got Special Needs.'


Spent the morning interviewing Abi Titmuss for a new BBC1 series I'm making called You Can't Fire Me, I'm Famous.

And despite every sinew of my flesh willing me to dislike her, I enjoyed her company.

'Fancy lunch?' she said afterwards, fluttering her eyelashes.

'I can't, I'm afraid. I've going to spend the afternoon getting some of Britain's most revered BBC news stars blind drunk.'

I walked down to The Ivy, where I met Jeremy Bowen, Sophie Raworth and Emily Maitlis.

The last time I 'lunched' with Bowen and Raworth, we were kicked out of the very same restaurant at 8pm for making too much noise with Adam Faith and Emma Noble.

Today was just as surreal and just as hard on the liver (seven bottles before we hit the hard stuff). I finally stumbled into the street at 7.30pm.

A text from Ms Raworth arrived at 9.30pm. 'You're losing your touch Morgan, JB and me are still here.'

Being out-drunk by the sweet, innocent, presenter of the One O'Clock News. Oh the shame.


Spent two hours at the dentist this morning having some old fillings replaced, emerging with my entire lower mouth still grotesquely numbed.

My phone rang outside the surgery. It was Cowell. 'Hello, darling, how are you?' 'I'm fnnnnine phanknns,' I phlegmed.

'Morgan, are you drunk again?' 'No. I'th been to the thdentisth.' Cowell roared with laughter. 'I knew it. You've had veneers haven't you? I want my £100.' (He recently bet me £100 that I would succumb to plastic surgery within the next five years.)

I tried to argue, but the words just wouldn't come out.


Was with Amanda in the Britain's Got Talent green room when Cowell arrived.

'Amanda, I don't mean to be rude [always a sign that he is about to be shockingly rude], but can you please make sure you're always fully made up when I see you. Something dies inside me when I see you without your make-up on.'

Amanda, of course, looks absolutely lovely with or without make-up.

'Simon, are you always this charming?' she retorted.

'I just have this thing about women and make-up,' he replied. 'I remember going away with this girl for the weekend once, and as soon as we got to the hotel she went to the bathroom and reappeared au naturelle, without any make-up. It was the biggest turn-off I've ever experienced.'

'What did you do?' Amanda and I asked in appalled unison.

'I told her to go back into the bathroom and put it all back on, obviously.'

Britain's Got Talent

Britain's Got Talent line-up: Piers with Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell


Enjoyed a ferociously long lunch at Andrew Neil’s house today. Halfway through, I launched into a loud denunciation of the current Muscovite invasion of Britain.

‘Every Russian woman in London right now is basically a hooker,’ I declared.

There was a chilly silence around the table. I turned to Ozwald Boateng, the dashing designer sitting to my right, for support.

‘Don’t you think so, Ozwald?’

He stared at me, shaking his head in a half-smile of pity.

At which point Andrew Neil intervened.

‘Piers, allow me to introduce you to Ozwald’s wife Gyunel,’ I turned to a beautiful, immaculately attired lady at the other end of the table. 'She's Russian.'

'You've been fired from every job you've ever had, and you're so desperate to be famous it's pathetic!'



My new book Don't You Know Who I Am? has been serialised this week in the Daily Mail and appears to have upset almost everyone.

Elton's apparently 'not happy', Sharon Osbourne's 'flaming mad' and Rod 'The Toad' Liddle is 'calling Nicaraguan hitmen' (allegedly).


I picked up the papers and saw a headline screaming back at me saying: 'ANT AND DEC SIGN £40MILLION ITV DEAL.'

If ever there is a story guaranteed to utterly enrage Simon Cowell, this is it. He, after all, recently became the 'highest-paid TV star in Britain' himself with a mere £20 million deal.

And the Geordie boys, who share the same agent as Cowell and me  -  former Radio 1 DJ Peter Powell  -  are currently presenting our show.

I raced to the London theatre where we are finishing the auditions, to savour the atmosphere.

'Good morning, Simon.' 'No, it isn't,' he snarled, hurling the papers into a nearby bin.

Ant and Dec then appeared, with the biggest grins seen since Cherie Blair heard I'd been sacked from the Mirror.

'Hi Simon.' Silence. Then he looked them both straight in the eye. 'There are two of you, right?'

'Er, yes,' they replied. 'So that's only £20 million each, isn't it? We're level.'


Back to America to start filming the second series of America's Got Talent. I arrived at the British Airways check-in to be told that my standard- size carry- on bag was now 'too big' for new safety regulations. By one inch.

As I vented my spleen about how absurd this new law was, I heard an even angrier voice next to me doing the same.

It was government minister Ed Balls, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury.

Eventually, a special services manager arrived to deal with us.

'Whose stupid idea is this new rule?' I demanded.

'It is a new law brought in by the British Government, sir.'

Piers Morgan

Transatlantic star: Piers Morgan, pictured on America's Got Talent in 2006, with judges Brandy and David Hasselhoff

I turned slowly to Mr Balls, who at least had the good grace to blush.

'You mean him,' I said. The special services manager smiled, and nodded.

Arrived in Los Angeles and went straight to dinner at the excruciatingly trendy Mr Chow in Beverly Hills, with senior producers on America's Got Talent and the show's two new stars, Sharon Osbourne and Jerry Springer.

It all went fine, until I made the fatal mistake of asking Sharon if she had forgiven me yet for calling her unprofessional in my new book.

'No, you pen-pushing little t**t!!!' she snarled. 'You've been fired from every job you've ever had, and you're so desperate to be famous it's pathetic!' I regret to say that I reacted to this charming (if undeniably accurate) tribute in an equally unedifying manner by saying:

'Save it for someone who gives a flying f***.' Sharon stood up, marched over to where I was sitting and started prodding my face like she was testing a steak to see if it was cooked enough.

Jerry Springer eventually took charge and led her out of the room still raging as other guests spluttered into their glasses. I left soon afterwards, went back to my hotel room, took a sleeping pill and conked out, still reeling from the encounter.


I woke up with a heavy head and very vague memories of someone ringing me in the middle of the night. I got to the studio. 'I'm glad we had that chat last night,' Sharon said.

'What chat?' I said, bemused. 'Don't you remember? I rang you when I got home. Ozzy told me I was being silly.'

I laughed. 'I'll have to take your word for it.' One thing's for sure, working with Sharon's going to be entertaining.


After a soothing Vietnamese mani-pedi (I didn't even know what that phrase meant a year ago, let alone permit myself to have a manicure and pedicure  -  which must mean I am slowly but surely disappearing up my LA backside), I dined with my girlfriend Celia at The Ivy  -  which is no relation to the London restaurant, but just as starry.

'Four hours later, I was lying on the floor of my hotel room, dosed with Tylenol, trying to stem the ferocious onslaught of vicious shooting pains in my mouth.'



Sitting next to us was a rather plump young woman opposite a bearded, perma-tanned, greyhaired TV producer.

The following conversation took place: 'So, look, you've got the role.'

'Oh my GOD!' 'And I don't think you'll even have to audition.'

'Oh my God!'

'And you're going to be brilliant, and the show's going to be brilliant.'

'Oh my God!' An hour later, he paid the bill and said: 'So, back to my place then?' The woman squealed with excitement.

'Oh my God! Yes!' This really happened. I heard it with my own ears.

The Hollywood casting couch is alive and throbbing.


I've taken on a new agent in Hollywood, John Ferriter from the William Morris agency.

He's smart, funny and resigned to the fact that most of his clients are less intelligent than him.

But I have one great advantage. 'I read your book this weekend,' he said today. 'There is no greater motivation for an agent than to know that if you screw up, your client will write about it.'


Glamour magazine asked me to present an award at their annual party in London's Berkeley Square tonight. Seconds after I arrived, a huge eruption of flashbulbs signalled the entrance of one Posh Spice.

I haven't seen Victoria for several years, but it was like we'd never been apart as she mwah-mwahed me in front of the snappers.

She was wearing the tiniest pair of hot pants I've ever seen. 'Nice pins,' I remarked. 'You cheeky s*d,' she cackled. I've always liked Victoria, mainly because she doesn't take herself nearly as seriously as other people take her.

We talked about David. 'I'm still available if things don't work out between you,' I said. 'How kind, Piers. Unfortunately, we've never been happier.' '

But I'm David with brains,' I persisted. 'No, I'm David with brains,' she retorted.


Britain's Got Talent started airing tonight. The stand-out act was Paul Potts who came out with crooked teeth and a terrible suit, then sang Nessun Dorma like Pavarotti. Quite amazing.


Simon had a migraine today, which meant we all got a headache. Unfortunately, the papers have been full of 'BRITAIN'S GOT PERVERTS' headlines about a George Formby impersonator who is apparently on the sex offenders list for tickling a 14-year-old boy's feet.

'Well,' I said to Simon. 'We did promise this show would be unpredictable.'

He just grimaced and popped more paracetamol.

Piers Morgan

Hollywood smile: Piers finally succumbed and had his teeth whitened, which caused him considerable pain


The final. This extraordinary roller-coaster week came to a thrilling end with Paul Potts fighting it out with Connie Talbot, the six-year-old singer with the world's cutest smile.

I hoped Paul would win. The show's credibility dictates that it needs to be won by genuine potential superstars, not sweet little girls whose lips tremble when they warble Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

But in a show like this, you are at the mercy of the public and their telephone votes. Thirty seconds before the result was announced, a producer ran over to tell Simon who had won.

He shook his head in shock, leant over to me and Amanda, and said: 'Connie, by a landslide.' We gasped out loud. 'NO!' 'Yes.' Then we heard Ant and Dec preparing to reveal this fact to Britain, and adopted our best fake grins again.

'And the winner of Britain's Got Talent is - PAUL POTTS!' Amanda and I turned straight to Simon, who winked and burst out laughing. He'd conned us again.


Labour fixer Lord Levy had his leaving party tonight at Lancaster House. Almost everywhere I looked I saw someone who doesn't like me - Geoff Hoon, Margaret Beckett, David Blunkett, Peter Hain. I sought refuge at the bar, and accidentally whacked someone in the back.

'Sorry,' I said. Then turned to see Tony Blair. I hadn't spoken to him since I left the Mirror three years ago. 'God!' I stumbled. 'I mean, hello Tony.'

To my surprise, he shook my hand and smiled. 'Hello, Piers, how are you?' It was a surreal moment. Just the two of us, standing away from the throng, the ex-editor and the soon to be ex-PM.

'I'm fine,' I replied. 'How are you, more to the point? Demob happy?' He grimaced slightly. 'I don't know about that. It is all a little strange.'

We chatted for a few minutes. 'So you're big in America now,' he said at one point, chuckling at the absurdity of what he was saying.

'Not as big as you - you should come and hang out with me in Hollywood. They love you there.' Blair laughed, wearily. He looked worn down. Such a contrast from the vibrant young man I'd laughed and joked with on his first day in office.

'You've done a lot of dumb things in your life, but taking a girlfriend to the Playboy party has to be the dumbest.'

___________PIERS' BROTHER JEREMY____



Back in LA for America's Got Talent. During a break from filming, I told fellow judge David 'The Hoff' Hasselhoff that I was going to the Playboy party tonight.

'You'll have fun there, man,' he said. 'The chicks will be throwing themselves at you.' 'I'm going with my girlfriend,' I pointed out.

The Hoff shook his head slowly. 'Man, don't you know the golden rule? Never take sand to the beach!' As Celia and I arrived at the party, a six-foot model in a bikini greeted us with a tray of vodka jellies.

Closer inspection revealed she was naked, and the bikini had been painted on. In the main party room a million flashbulbs suddenly exploded. Paris Hilton had arrived, wearing nothing but Agent Provocateur lingerie.

I interviewed her last year, but was pretty sure she wouldn't remember. 'Hello again,' she purred. 'How are you?' Then she giggled, grabbed a champagne flute and was led away to Hugh Hefner's private Bedouin tent.

I followed in her wake to meet the host. He's 82, has a permanent smirk (as you would) and was surrounded by 20-year-old Playmates. 'Great party, Mr Hefner.' 'Isn't it?' he beamed.

In the unisex 'rest room' I joined a queue with five saucy minxes. 'You're that mean Brit judge from America's Got Talent, aren't you?' said one. I nodded. 'Well, now we're gonna see if you've got any talent!' she squealed.

I made my excuses, before I had to make my excuses, and left.


An email from my brother Jeremy: 'You've done a lot of dumb things in your life, but taking a girlfriend to the Playboy party has to be the dumbest.'


For the past few weeks, I've passed a cosmetic dental centre every morning on my way to pick up the papers. Rather like a strip club in Soho, it has grown more and more tempting.

And today I decided to take the plunge and have a 45-minute teeth whitening course. 'Does it hurt?' I asked the receptionist. 'Oh no,' she replied.

Four hours later, I was lying on the floor of my hotel room, dosed with Tylenol, trying to stem the ferocious onslaught of vicious shooting pains in my mouth.

On a positive note, my teeth were so white they could blind a dog from 100 yards. I fear that my LA conversion is now irreversible.

  • Abridged extract from God Bless America: Misadventures of a Big Mouth Brit by Piers Morgan, to be published by Ebury on March 26, £17.99. Copyright c 2009 Piers Morgan. To order a copy at £16.20 (p&p free) call 0845 155 0720

TOMORROW: The night Prince Philip called Simon Cowell a sponger

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