Insults are flying between Piers Morgan and controversial footballer Joey Barton ahead of the pair’s appearance on Question Time tomorrow.
Morgan and the QPR midfielder, who have previously clashed on Twitter, will join a panel including Universities Minister David Willetts on the BBC1 political panel show.
Barton tweeted a picture of a book titled British Politics for Dummies, telling Morgan he was “currently having this read to me” in preparation.
In reply, the broadcaster called Barton, who played for Marseille, “Le Pitbull”, telling him: “I don’t need to train for intelligent political debates. You however… well, best of luck.”
The combative Barton hit back, calling Morgan “nice but dim” and tweeted a picture of his nemesis’ head on the body of a super-sized sumo wrestler. “A visual representation of the struggle I have ahead of me,” he wrote.
Piers Morgan in quotes
Piers Morgan in quotes
1/20 Piers Morgan's Most Pretentious Phrases
“I want to interview the most important people in the world and have everyone in America the next day going, 'Did you see that?'” On Piers Morgan Live, which was recently axed.
2/20 Piers Morgan's Most Pretentious Phrases
“Most of the men that sue in Hollywood are all about 5' 2“. They wake up every day, know they're tiny and feel very angry about it, so they go out and sue people.”
3/20 Piers Morgan's Most Pretentious Phrases
“It was pretty compelling to watch, pretty weird, and it made me gag a few times.” – in his role as Britain’s Got Talent judge
4/20 Piers Morgan's Most Pretentious Phrases
“I'm guilt-ridden about introducing her to Paul McCartney. It was a moment of Cupid madness which cost Sir Paul $50 million, so the least I can do is ban her from the show.” - On banning Heather Mills from Piers Morgan Tonight
5/20 Piers Morgan's Most Pretentious Phrases
“Bill O'Reilly is like a comfortable pair of shimmeringly angry slippers, but you know every night what you're going to get.” – On Bill O’Reilly
6/20 Piers Morgan's Most Pretentious Phrases
“Why do we want someone like Ruth Kelly controlling our children? She's the scariest woman I've ever seen in politics.” - On the British Education Secretary in 2005
7/20 Piers Morgan's Most Pretentious Phrases
“You're an unbeleivably stupid man, aren't you?” Interviewing gun-rights activist Larry Pratt
8/20 Piers Morgan's Most Pretentious Phrases
“There is a type of snobbish, pompous journalist who thinks that the only news that has any validity is war, famine, pestilence or politics. I don't come from that school.”
9/20 Piers Morgan's Most Pretentious Phrases
“To all the ignorant, bigoted transgender community members continuing to abuse me re @janetmock - I'm bored of you now, go away. Thanks.” - On interviewing transgender activist Janet Mock
10/20 Piers Morgan's Most Pretentious Phrases
“I have kind of an edge in me, which will be a little bit different for that time slot but probably necessary to combat the O'Reillys and so on who are making all the noise.”
11/20 Piers Morgan's Most Pretentious Phrases
"Everyone's worst ever Christmas sweater > Team USA uniforms. #RalphLauren #Sochi #OpeningCeremony" - Tweeting ahead of Sochi Olympics... And wondering why he's not that popular in the US.
12/20 Piers Morgan's Most Pretentious Phrases
"To reiterate, I have never hacked a phone, told anyone to hack a phone, nor to my knowledge published any story obtained from the hacking of a phone." - Defending himself against fresh phone-hacking allegations.
13/20 Piers Morgan's Most Pretentious Phrases
"Anything to do with my kids really is the only thing that gets to me. It's the most difficult thing about the job, unquestionably. It's been the most difficult thing to sacrifice." - On not realising he was the editor of The Mirror once and how hypocritical this therefore sounds.
14/20 Piers Morgan's Most Pretentious Phrases
"I wonder if poor old Jeremy Clarkson's little hissy fit today is connected to Top Gear's disintegrating ratings & rumours it may be axed?" - Embarrassing in hindsight, during a Twitter spat with Jeremy Clarkson.
15/20 Piers Morgan's Most Pretentious Phrases
"I never realised how endlessly entertaining Twitter would turn out to be. Oh, the joy when I realised you could tweet Manchester United stars personally, ridiculing them for everything from their dodgy haircuts to offensive swimwear. And even more delicious when they began firing back like enraged Rambos on acid." - On his social media addiction.
16/20 Piers Morgan's Most Pretentious Phrases
"I do blame people. Where were all the people making money out of her when it mattered? Really, where were they? You know, it's just not good enough and they're all going to make millions out of it now she's dead. You know, the album Back to Black is number one… but people let her down." - On passing the blame on from the pressures of the tabloid press for Amy Winehouse's death.
17/20 Piers Morgan's Most Pretentious Phrases
“Absolutely nobody in the entire United States of America has even a modicum of interest in who I am, but I’m determined to change that." - On what he tried - and failed - to do in the US.
18/20 Piers Morgan's Most Pretentious Phrases
"I fear I am now a victim of 'cisphobia'." - Piers Morgan combats being called 'transphobic' after sensationalised Janet Mock interview... By being massively transphobic.
19/20 Piers Morgan's Most Pretentious Phrases
"@GaryLinekar_ Did you ever actually tackle anyone?" - To which Linekar replied, "Nope never hacked anyone".
20/20 Piers Morgan's Most Pretentious Phrases
"If I wanted a lesson on physical appearance I'd go to @evalongoria not Shrek's ugly brother" - Arguing with Rio Ferdinand on Twitter. Again.
Morgan once described Barton, recognised for his efforts to combat homophobia in football, as a “violent neanderthal thug”.
Their Twitter feud began when Morgan taunted Barton after he received a 12-match ban for an on-field indiscretion. Barton called Morgan an “elitist prat”.
Labour MP Margaret Curran and newly elected UKIP MEP Louise Bours will be hoping to get word in on Thursday’s Question Time, which will be filmed at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 2 and screened at 10.35pm on BBC1.