Last Night's TV: The dark side of fame with Piers morgan, BBC1
The price of property, Channel 4

There's more to her than meets his eye

In an interview this week with a Sunday newspaper, Piers Morgan said: "I can't stand whingeing celebrities, who whine about the hell of being famous." I couldn't agree more, although this perfectly reasonable aversion makes him an odd choice to present The Dark Side of Fame, a series of interviews with celebrities whining about the hell of being famous.

First up was the former Baywatch star and Playboy centrefold Pamela Anderson, to whom Morgan seemed about as averse as pigs to muck, enthusiastically describing her breasts as the most famous of all time, "with a fame and career all of their own". This career also extends to giving interviews on their own, at least if Morgan's dancing eyes were anything to go by. At first I naively thought that he kept glancing downwards all the time to consult his notes, until I realised that all he was consulting was Pammie's cleavage. And maybe that's fair enough. For a time in the 1990s, The Daily Mirror, edited by Morgan, might as well have been printed in that cleavage, so fundamental were her breasts to the success of the paper. It was good to see Morgan, a man known for his humility in the same way that Andy Murray is known for his golf swing, so humbly acknowledging one, or more accurately two, of the stepping stones in his rise to the top.

Anyway, stepping stones aside, was it a good interview? Morgan has spiced up the news agenda in recent months with his interviews in GQ magazine, in which he got the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg to admit that he had slept with "no more than 30 women", and more recently teased some controversial thoughts about date rape from Dame Helen Mirren. Watching him in action with Pamela Anderson offered some insights into his technique. He is relentlessly matey, jocular and charming, and flashes his newlywhitened teeth at every opportunity, but behind the smile there lurks a vulpine instinct for the kill.

As Anderson chuntered on fairly cheerfully about the relationships she has had since splitting up with the serially misbehaving rocker Tommy Lee, father of her two sons, Morgan slipped in the stiletto. If she didn't mind him being critical for a moment, was she being altogether fair to her children by getting involved with one unsuitable bloke after another? It was a reminder, not least to Anderson, that Morgan didn't get to edit one of Britain's best-selling tabloids without being sanctimonious, judgmental, and knowing just when to hit the nail on the head. Still, she kept her cool impressively, and even ended the interview sitting obligingly on his lap, while Morgan, done with the flitting eyes, gazed unblinkingly at her breasts and chortled, mischievously and toothily. It was an oddly familiar mischievously toothy chortle, with vivid suburban English overtones, and some time later I realised why: Morgan has subconsciously modelled his chortle, if not his whole persona, on that of Richard Briers in The Good Life. He has become the Tom Good of Sunset Boulevard.

In The Price of Property, the first of a four-part series about a modern British obsession, the ghosts of Tom and Barbara popped up again. A woman with the apt name of Joy recalled buying a flat in Elgin Crescent, in Notting Hill, for £12,000 in 1966. Her flat is now on the market for £875,000 and she is cashing in to "live the good life" in Surbiton.

The presenter Jon Henley made no attempt to conceal his envy of Joy and other beneficiaries of the boom in property values. He bought a flat in Acton, west London, for £35,000 in the mid-1980s, and sold up a few years later for what he thought was a decent profit. He then lived abroad for 20 years but has returned to find himself emphatically priced out of the London housing market. That little flat in Acton is now valued at £250,000, and Henley spent much of the programme reeling with astonishment at this and other examples of property prices going through the roof. If only he had been toying with a stuffed pepper I would have been transported uneasily back to the dozens of dinner parties I went to in London in the 1990s, at which property prices vied with schooling as the principal topic of conversation, and those of us who attempted diversionary tactics by invoking the form of Arsenal FC, or for that matter the breasts of Pamela Anderson, were treated like weirdos.

Of course, the presenter of a series called The Price of Property can't be condemned for banging on about the price of property, although I did feel that Henley was being a little disingenuous when he pointed out that a house should foremost be a home, rather than an investment. He seemed pig-sick at the idea that the London property ladder had fallen with a clatter behind him, with nary a thought for all the fun he had in 20 years of living overseas, safely away from all the negative equity-flavoured crème brûlée.

Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010

GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Norton was back in the commentating seat for Eurovision 2015

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May on stage

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Arts and Entertainment

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
film
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Comics
Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
music
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

music
Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

books
Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

tv
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
film
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.

    Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

    The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

    How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
    Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

    Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

    'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

    How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

    Art attack

    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
    Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

    Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

    Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
    Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

    'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

    Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
    10 best wedding gift ideas

    It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

    Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
    Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

    Paul Scholes column

    With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
    Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

    Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

    Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
    Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

    Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

    The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor