George, Condi and Ricky welcome Piers to prime time

The boy can't help himself. As his new bosses at CNN yesterday encouraged America to "Get to Know Piers Morgan," the British presenter was doing his best to confuse his new American audience with abstract outpourings on Twitter about his rival self-publicist "Baron Sugar of Clapton" and the latest performance of the Arsenal reserves.

CNN yesterday announced the stellar line-up of guests booked to appear in the first week of Piers Morgan Tonight, on which the former editor of the Daily Mirror will attempt to fill the void left by the chat-show legend Larry King. After Oprah Winfrey, who will be Morgan's opening guest, he has secured the former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the shock jock Howard Stern. Thereafter, Morgan will interview George Clooney and Ricky Gervais.

"Celebrities galore," remarked The New York Times, while the Associated Press said Morgan had "hit the ground running". It was an improvement on the observation by the television critic of The Washington Post that Ms Winfrey, who is promoting her new network, is so craven for publicity that "you have to fend off Oprah with a club".

CNN released a comment from Ms Winfrey saying that her already recorded encounter with Morgan was "one of the toughest interviews I've had in 20 years". Morgan claims that he securedthe interview himself after sweet-talking her closest friend. "I had to seduce Gayle King by email, which I did very successfully," he says.

On the CNN website, viewers were told to "get ready for some fireworks" when Morgan meets Stern. But on the same webpage, Morgan's Twitter stream featured complaints that Harrison Ford had snubbed him, alongside a string of barbs aimed at Lord Sugar, with whom he has been having a playful spat. The network is encouraging Americans to follow Morgan on Twitter, a medium tailor-made for an insomniac motor-mouth.

Being garrulous and thick-skinned can be an asset as a chat show host and, dogged by falling ratings, CNN needs Morgan to succeed. "They sure have been hyping the show – hope they can live up to it," said Edward of Nashville in a comment on the CNN website. "I give him two months and CNN pulls the show," said another poster.

Across the Atlantic, Morgan is known as an entertainment star for his appearances as a judge on NBC's America's Got Talent. Some doubt whether he is capable of going for the throat. "Let's face it – no one with an English accent is dangerous," said a CNN respondent yesterday. But in an apparent attempt to bolster Morgan's heavyweight credentials, the CNN site carries a clip from his ITV interview with Gordon Brown, in which the then Prime Minister was reduced to tears.

CNN has assembled a top production team for Morgan's show, including Jonathan Wald, a former No 2 at CNBC, and Melanie Lefkowitz, former producer for ABC's Good Morning America. The Englishman has also recruited his old friend Conor Hanna, ex-deputy editor of the Daily Mirror.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
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

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This publishing company based i...

Ashdown Group: Content Manager - Publishing

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Guru Careers: Report Writer / Reporting Analyst

£25 - 30k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Report Writer / Reporting Analyst is nee...

Guru Careers: German Speaking Account Manager / Account Executive

£24-30K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A German speaking Account Manager ...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...