Could Piers Morgan be the new Larry King?

CNN, the US news network that styles itself "The Worldwide Leader in News", has reportedly offered Piers Morgan, the Britain's Got Talent panellist, a £10m contract to replace Larry King as the host of its flagship interview show.

For the former editor of the Daily Mirror, such an appointment would signify redemption, and a riposte to critics who said his reputation was in ruins, after he was fired from the newspaper in 2004 for publishing doctored photographs purporting to show the torture of Iraqi prisoners by British troops.

And for the stars of British reality television, who appear intent on conquering the highest peaks of American broadcasting, Morgan, with his own nightly show, would represent a new plateau. His television mentor, Simon Cowell, is already the highest-earner in American prime-time, thanks to his work on American Idol and as the creator of America's Got Talent, the show which has made Morgan familiar to audiences in the US. Cat Deeley, the host of So You Think You Can Dance, recently guest presented ABC's morning show.

Morgan would not be the first Briton to land an American chat show. The David Frost Show was broadcast on CBS in the early Seventies and Glasgow's Craig Ferguson currently fronts The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on the same network.

It would be remarkable, nonetheless, if Morgan was to replace King who, with his heavy spectacles and trademark red "suspenders", is one of the most recognisable figures in American broadcasting, a bonafide heavyweight who has conducted 40,000 interviews with guests including Frank Sinatra, Audrey Hepburn, Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon.

The Briton, who led the Daily Mirror's anti-war coverage of the second Gulf campaign and was frogmarched out of the building by security guards after American shareholders voiced concern over his editing, could become the star of the schedule of a global broadcaster that made its name through its stunning live broadcasts from Baghdad during the first Gulf conflict.

CNN has been the subject of a series of negative stories in recent months as it has been consistently beaten in the ratings by more politically partisan rivals, such as Rupert Murdoch's Fox. Although the channel remains profitable, its schedule is seen as in need of an overhaul.

Speculation that Morgan was to join CNN began with a report in the New York Post, which reported that the channel was not intending to renew the contract of King, 76, when it runs out next year. King's audience has fallen by 43 per cent over the past year. Morgan was said to be in talks with the broadcaster. Yesterday British newspapers enthusiastically embraced the idea, claiming that Morgan was being offered somewhere between £5.5m and £10m. The American Huffington Post website was more circumspect, rating Morgan as only one of half a dozen contenders for the role. CNN last night refused to comment.

On programmes such as Piers Morgan's Life Stories, where the presenter's interviewees have included Gordon Brown and Katie Price, Morgan has shown that he can tackle a breadth of subject matter which is reported to have impressed CNN executives.

Tim Miller, creative director of ITV Studios, which makes the programme, said Morgan combined the instincts of a tabloid journalist with an ability to draw out the "unfolding drama" of a television interview. "He has the ability to ask the outrageous question which, if it came out of the mouth of somebody else, might not work," he said. "He gets away with it because he has this cheeky demeanour which puts people at their ease. But he insists on getting an answer to his question."

Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Hewer is to leave The Apprentice after 10 years

TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice

Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
    Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

    Marian Keyes

    The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

    Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

    Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
    Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

    Rodgers fights for his reputation

    Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
    Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

    Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

    'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
    Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick