My Life in Media: Piers Morgan

'Have you any idea of how salty the caviar is in first-class these days? How much Puligny-Montrachet you have to drink to soothe the palate? It's disgraceful'

Piers Morgan, 42, a former editor of the News of the World and The Daily Mirror, is a personality on any media platform you care to mention. He left The Mirror ignominiously in 2004 after publishing fake photographs of British troops abusing Iraqi prisoners but has since built a successful television career in the US and published memoirs of his time as a Fleet Street editor. He has three sons with his former wife and is currently walking out with The Daily Telegraph writer Celia Walden.

What inspired you to embark on a career in the media?

I was always incredibly nosy, and fascinated by news. I also loved reading papers, from a very early age. My mother remembers me pointing to a headline about a rape case when I was six and asking: "Mum, what does it mean when it says this girl was rapped?" Quite a tricky enquiry to navigate for any parent.

When you were 15 years old which newspaper did your family get, and did you read it?

The Daily Mail and The Sunday Times. Which probably explains why I turned out to be such a reactionary, objectionable, investigative socialite.

And what were your favourite TV and radio programmes?

The Thunderbirds, Dallas, Dukes of Hazard, Morecambe and Wise, Selina Scott and all the big boxing fights. Try getting your shrink to analyse that little lot. As for radio, I used to pretend to my schoolmates that I listened to John Peel, but of course listened instead to Peter Powell – who has transformed himself into one of the most successful talent agents in the country (well he has to be, he manages me).

Describe your job?

I don't have just one any more, I have loads. Which means I can never get fired again because I can always claim that whatever I'm getting fired from is not my real job, just a hobby. This year alone, I'll be judging Britain's Got Talent, and America's Got Talent; presenting an eight-part BBC1 interview series on fame; doing various other projects for ITV; writing my weekly column for The Mail on Sunday's Live magazine, monthly interviews for GQ, and my third volume of diaries; continuing to be editorial director of First News (the national newspaper for children that is starting to do incredibly well); making speeches everywhere from Dover to Dubai. And generally whoring myself as usual around the nation's airwaves. It's all vaguely ridiculous, but I love it.

What's the first media you turn to in the mornings?

I get The Sun, Mirror, Mail, Telegraph, Times and Independent delivered. I used to get The Guardian, but cancelled it in protest at the utterly brilliant Roger Alton getting turfed out of The Observer. I read them with Sky News on in the background, or Today if I'm feeling particularly cerebral.

Do you consult any media sources during the day?

I check the BBC website for news and sport updates at least 20 times a day on my iMac, laptop or mobile phone. You can trust it, which is more than be said for most of the internet. Then I usually flick around other websites including MediaGuardian (it survived the Alton protest by the skin of its teeth), Broadcast, the much-improved Mail, Popbitch and Holy Moly (just to check they haven't caught me in flagrante with Amy Winehouse). And, of course, Arsenal News – a wonderful site that brings me 15 minute updates on every story involving Arsenal published on the net in the world, and the occasional inadvertent link to very shapely derrieres in Rio.

What do you tune into when you get home?

Magic FM, or 'Tragic' as I like to call it. It's the only thing that brings any calm to my absurd life. Then I'll try and catch the ten o'clock news bulletins, and a bit of Newsnight and Question Time to see who is making an arse of themselves (Alex James, usually).

How do you feel you influence the media?

I like to think I act as a constant reminder of what can happen if you resolutely refuse to take yourself as seriously as others wish to take you. The British media is full of hypocritical, pompous, booze-sodden, whining, cynical bores – and other people who just want to have a laugh before they die. I prefer hanging out with the second crowd, and tormenting the first.

What is the best thing about your job?

The variety. One minute I'm debating the finer points of the Treaty of Lisbon with George Osborne on Question Time in Norwich, the next I'm judging piano-playing pigs with David Hasselhoff in Hollywood.

And the worst?

The travelling. Have you any idea how salty the caviar is in first-class these days? Or how much Puligny-Montrachet you have to drink to soothe the palate as a result? It's disgraceful.

What's the proudest achievement in your working life?

The Mirror's coverage of September 11, and the 'No War' campaign we waged to try and stop Blair taking us illegally and disastrously into Iraq. Just wish we had won it.

And what's your most embarrassing moment?

Winning Columnist of the Year for writing about myself going to parties every week in Live magazine. I felt wretched for my losing rivals like Jeremy Clarkson and Rod Liddle.

Who in the media do you most admire and why?

Celia Walden. She has a magnificent body of work. And Alan Rusbridger, for managing to get rid of an editor who was winning awards and putting on sales, while saving his own skin despite winning fuck all and spending £80m on a crashingly dull relaunch that has lost circulation. Genius.

What is your Sunday paper? And do you have a favourite magazine?

I get all the Sunday papers, and love shouting at them for two hours. Just random stuff like: "That's not a fucking splash", "Look at the state of that boob job", or "How can I kill AA Gill without anyone noticing?"

Name the one career ambition you want to realise before you retire?

I'd like to wake up and see a headline saying: "TV PIERS RAVISHED ME TEN TIMES IN ONE NIGHT SAYS EVA MENDEZ."

What would you do if you didn't work in the media?

I once spent a summer bagging mushroom compost, which was strangely satisfying once you got over the horrific stench of it, and this seems to me to be the perfect career change option for a former tabloid newspaper editor.

Don't You Know Who I Am? by Piers Morgan is published in paperback by Ebury Press, £7.99

The CV

1987 Joins Surrey and South London Newspapers as a reporter

1989 Hired by Kelvin MacKenzie to be The Sun's showbusiness editor on the Bizarre column, which leads to writing several books about Take That

1994 Rupert Murdoch appoints him editor of the News of the World, making him the youngest to lead a national newspaper in 50 years. Departs after publishing photos of Earl Spencer's wife leaving a rehab clinic

1995 Appointed editor of Daily Mirror

2002 Ordered to pay Naomi Campbell damages for breach of confidentiality. The ruling is overruled by the Court of Appeal, then reinstated by the House of Lords

2000 Embroiled in Viglen scandal for buying £67,000 of shares in the company hours before his "City Slickers" column tipped it

2004 Sacked after running pictures of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment purportedly abusing Iraqi soldiers. Hosts chat show with Amanda Platell

2005 Publishes memoirs, The Insider: The Private Diaries of a Scandalous Decade and buys ailing trade magazine Press Gazette

2006 Works as a judge on America's Got Talent

2007 Publishes Don't You Know Who I Am, the second instalment of his diaries

2008 Currently appearing in a US version of The Apprentice

News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
News
James Argent from Towie is missing, police say
newsTV star had been reported missing
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
News
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel you sales role is li...

Head of Marketing (Online & Offline, Media, Digital, Strategy)

£85000 - £100000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing - Slough, Berkshi...

Administration Assistant / Office Assistant

£18 - 20k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An Administration Assistant / Office Assistan...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone