Morgan puts his foot in it again with TV 'terror warning'
Friday 29 October 2004
Piers Morgan, the former editor of the
Daily Mirror, alarmed viewers of ITV's
This Morning yesterday when he claimed that al-Qa'ida may stage a terrorist attack during the forthcoming American presidential elections.
Piers Morgan, the former editor of the Daily Mirror, alarmed viewers of ITV's This Morning yesterday when he claimed that al-Qa'ida may stage a terrorist attack during the forthcoming American presidential elections.
The former tabloid editor, who is standing in for the regular host, Phillip Schofield, did not realise his comments were being broadcast live as he and his co-presenter, Fern Britton, were filmed during an ad break for Trisha, the show before This Morning on ITV.
The pair were supposed to tell viewers what was coming up in the programme. Instead, Morgan was seen declaring that al-Qa'ida planned a terrorist attack intended to disrupt the US presidential election.
"I tell you what, I would brace yourselves for something in the next few days," he warned. And in response to Ms Britton's question of why, he replied: "I just think that al-Qa'ida, with an election, I think they have been waiting for the election." At that point a producer informed them, via their earpieces, that they were live on air. Morgan appeared startled and only had time to say: "Good morning! On today's show..." before time ran out and viewers were taken back to Trisha.
When the show began 15 minutes later, the embarrassed duo apologised for Morgan's outburst. "I want to put everyone's minds at rest. We had a live television slip-up earlier where we usually do our promotion for the show and it goes out live, as a lot of you saw, and we didn't realise we were live. Don't panic - nothing is about to happen," said Ms Britton.
Morgan said: "We were getting quite political and I was expressing that there had been a CIA report yesterday that was leaked, that they were worried about a terrorist attack in America before the US election."
"I don't know anything, so if any of you are worried that I have any inside information about any terrorist attack, I don't. I hope that clears that up. We were just having a little private conversation. It's nothing new - there have been loads of rumours and speculation but I'm sure nothing will happen." Morgan, who left the Daily Mirror in May in controversial circumstances after publishing faked photographs of British soldiers abusing an Iraqi prisoner, said he was not privy to inside information. "Trust me, nobody tells me anything any more," he said.
Morgan has presented the show for the past three days while Phillip Schofield is on holiday. Sir Cliff Richard will present today's show.
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