My Life In Travel: Piers Morgan

'I've learnt to go light on clothes and heavy on technology'

Saturday 07 February 2009 01:00

First holiday memory?

My mum taking us shrimping on Hastings beach in East Sussex. It was always freezing cold and raining hard, but we ate fish and chips, ice cream, and caught loads of shrimps. And it always seemed fantastic fun. Kids' pleasure requirements on holiday are very cheap and simple.

Best holiday?

I have just returned from a particularly good one in Antigua, at my favourite beach resort, the Carlisle Bay hotel. The first week was me, my brother (the nanny!) and my three sons having a lads' holiday. The second week was me and my girlfriend Celia finishing off our books in blissful quiet, eating fresh fish and drinking Puligny-Montrachet under some stunning sunsets.

Worst holiday?

Corfu when I was 19. I fell off a motorbike and took all the skin off my right side on the first day. The doctor said I was banned from sun, sea or alcohol, and had to pour iodine solution into the gaping wounds four times a day. The most horrific two weeks of my life.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

The East Sussex village of Newick, where I have had a home for the last 30 years. It has three pubs, a curry house, and a cricket team, and is thus as near to a perfect country village as you could wish.

Ideal travelling companion?

My sons are hilarious, and the perfect mates for a sporting holiday. And Celia's the easiest female traveller I've ever known. She always gets everything into a tiny carry-on bag and never complains about anything.

What have you learnt from your travels?

Go light on clothes and heavy on technology. You can survive anywhere in a pair of jeans, a white T-shirt and sandals, but nowhere without the right chargers.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

Unpack and plug in.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I'm a beach bum, every time. I get enough of the other two in my normal life.

Greatest travel luxury?

Peace and quiet. My life tends to be very noisy.

Holiday reading?

I've just read Michael Wolff's biography of Rupert Murdoch (very funny), and the new one on Warren Buffett (very impressive). I like very good biographies of interesting people.

Where has seduced you?

I have a deep, abiding passion for the South of France. I love the people, the food, the wine, the weather – all of it. But there is something very beguiling about Antigua, too. The people there don't smile until you make them laugh; then they light up with the warmest smiles I've ever seen.

Better to travel or to arrive?

I actually like both. When I'm flying, it's the only time people can't bother me. I love turning the phone and BlackBerry off, having a glass of wine, and watching endless episodes of Spooks or The West Wing. Arrival is always very pleasurable, and certainly preferable to the horrors of departure from British airports, which is an increasingly vile experience.

Worst travel experience?

I was taken to an Elton John concert in Germany once, in a small private jet with a few other hacks, and we hit an electrical storm. We all thought we were going to die. It was very disconcerting, though I can see that the departure of eight tabloid journalists would not have been quite so depressing to the wider populace. Nor to Elton, come to think of it.

Best hotel?

The Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles, where I spend three months of the year, Carlisle Bay in Antigua, and Baros in the Maldives. All very different, all magnificent.

Best meal abroad?

The staff of the Baros resort in the Maldives took me and Celia to a sandbank in the middle of the Indian Ocean on

the night Obama won. They served us an eight-course feast of unimaginable luxury until the sea came in and swept the bank away, and we were taken home. Magical.

Favourite city?

Paris for romance, New York for energy, LA for work, and London for friends.

Favourite walk/ swim/ride/drive?

I love walking along the Cornish coast on a windy but sunny day; swimming in the stunning blue sea in Antigua; and driving up Sunset Boulevard in my shades, listening to Aerosmith in my Aston Martin convertible on my way to the set of the TV show America's Got Talent.

Dream trip?

I'd love to go to both China and India.

Where next?

To the States, to film the next series of America's Got Talent.

'Piers Morgan on... Hollywood' is on ITV1 on Thursday at 9pm

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