My Greatest Mistake: Piers Morgan

'I always try to celebrate a massive error – preferably with a few bottles of chilled Krug'
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The Independent Online

So many choices, so little space. Mistakes are wonderful. They concentrate the mind, teach you valuable lessons, raise your standards, prick ego-inflated balloons, subject you to humiliation, misery to taunting. I always try and celebrate a massive error – preferably with a few bottles of chilled Krug and a jug of Jack Daniels. It's the only way... and you then have that blissful moment in the morning when you're so hungover you literally can't remember your crime.

Here's a severely abbreviated shortlist of my favourite career gaffes:

"Revealing" that George Michael had a secret love child in Frankfurt (I know, I know, but it wasn't quite so obviously wrong at the time);

Interviewing Rod Stewart for two hours on the phone then playing the tape back and hearing only my voice;

"Achtung Surrender" (mind you, we came within 20 minutes of sending a Spitfire up over the German training camp to drop our front page on the players, and ordering a Mirror tank into Berlin to invade the offices of Bild, so it could have been much much worse – or much much funnier, depending on your viewpoint);

Countess Spencer in the clinic (it was Rupert Murdoch's fault – he told me not to splash on the last picture of a very dead Ronnie Kray and she was all I had left in the cupboard at 6pm);

Buying shares, obviously;

Giving Kenneth Clarke his budget back in the vain, pathetic and totally unnecessary hope I'd be viewed as a responsible journalist at last;

Writing a quite disturbingly sycophantic biography of Philip Schofield – and compounding the shame by including this literary masterpiece in my Who's Who entry;

Taking a phone call from that naughty man Chris Morris when I was on The Sun and believing he really was Bono – it was only when a flexi-disc of our little chat appeared on the cover of Select magazine that I realised I had been rather badly mistaken;

Meeting Madonna for the first time in a state of inebriation and behaving in a manner that caused even her to be revolted;

Not severing David Yelland's horrific head when I've had the chance;

Turning down the editorship of the Financial Times (OK, OK, I didn't really, but you've got to admit that my financial credentials made me a good candidate);

Taking News of the World sports executives to the Cup Winner's Cup Final in Paris, where Nayim scored that last-minute bloody goal from the halfway line to beat Arsenal;

Going on Have I Got News For You and genuinely thinking I'd given them a sharp, funny, verbal thrashing they'd never recover from...

Anyway, as I sit here surrounded by all the Newspaper of the Year awards The Mirror's recently won, I have to admit I read this list of calamities and disasters and come to the conclusion: "What are a few clangers between friends?"

INTERVIEW BY CLARE DWYER HOGG

Piers Morgan is the editor of 'The Mirror'

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