PIERS MORGAN: How can I be less sexy than Paul Hollywood?

How can I be less sexy than a bearded bloke who pontificates about cakes?

Thursday, June 17

What would be your dream all-time musical supergroup?

Today, during a delightfully decadent lunch at the fabulous three-Michelin star Waterside Inn restaurant in Bray, I got to debate this with a man who some might put in their greatest band, Genesis legend Mike Rutherford.

‘Now there’s a question,’ he smiled. ‘What’s the criteria?’

‘Two lead singers – one male and one female,’ I replied, ‘three guitarists, a drummer and a keyboard player.’

It took Rutherford more than two hours to complete his selection, as he carefully considered endless animated suggestions from other guests, including England cricket legend Gladstone Small, commentator Mark Nicholas and Sky News presenter Mark Austin.

His first two picks came quickly and with absolute certainty: ‘My bass guitarist would be Paul McCartney, and my lead guitarist, Jimi Hendrix.’

Then, as the fine wine kicked in, he ruminated more and said: ‘I’ve got to have Eric [Clapton] too.’

Pause. Frown.

‘But how do I leave out Mark Knopfler? Can I have four guitarists?’

Permission was granted.

‘On drums, I’d go for Phil [Collins] – he’s a brilliant all-round drummer.’

He deliberated for a long time about the keyboardist, nearly opting for Sir Elton before finally exclaiming: ‘Rick Wakeman!’

That left his lead singers (though his guitar trio aren’t bad in the back-up vocal department!), and Rutherford agonised as we bombarded him with names like Freddie Mercury, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Elvis and Sinatra.

Finally, he made a decision.

‘John Lennon and Joni Mitchell.’

‘You wouldn’t put yourself in?’ I asked.

‘I’m the songwriter,’ he chuckled, ‘so I’m going to write the f***ing songs!’

My own supergroup would be Freddie and Whitney on vocals, Stevie on keyboards, John Bonham on drums, and Slash, Prince and Keith Richards on guitar.


Sunday, June 20

I’ve been voted the fourth sexiest male TV celebrity in Britain in a new online poll.

My joy at this news was somewhat tempered by the fact that Gary Lineker came 3rd, my former Good Morning Britain colleague Ben Shephard 2nd and Paul bloody Hollywood 1st.

I’ve been voted the fourth sexiest male TV celebrity in Britain in a new online poll. My joy at this news was somewhat tempered by the fact that Paul bloody Hollywood came 1st

I don’t mind the undeniably aesthetically pleasing Shephard nudging ahead of me but no offence, but how can I be less sexy than two grey-bearded blokes who pontificate about football and cakes?

The only comfort came from pollsters Buzz Bingo who declared: ‘Our research proves that if you’ve got sex appeal, you never lose it.’ Exactly.


Monday, June 21

One thing I’ve really missed about GMB is shouting at Government ministers when they’re lying, obfuscating, being deliberately obtuse or just refusing to answer a question.

Some snobby TV news types take a dim view of such intemperate presenter conduct, believing it ‘demeans the industry’ but they tend to be the dullest ones with the smallest audiences.

I suspect most members of the public shout at politicians on their TVs quite regularly (my wife Celia, one of the world’s calmest people thanks to an absurdly low heart rate, can barely look at Boris Johnson blathering on screen before erupting into instant vociferous non-platitudes).

This morning, I was being tortured in my local gym, the aptly named Roar in Kensington, by its owner, former British Winter Olympic speed-skater Sarah Lindsay, when I spied a familiar face being inducted in the corner.

In fact, the last time I saw that face, I was shouting at it.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick’s soon going to soon discover what Roar really means… I couldn’t wish for a more motivational gym buddy.


Tuesday, June 22

Jenrick’s not the only Cabinet minister following my ideas for keeping in shape. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has revealed that like me, he’s addicted to Peloton, the hi-tech stationary exercise bike phenomenon that beams a Manhattan spinning studio into your home.

But we have very different types of favourite instructor. Sunak’s is Cody Rigsby, a self-acclaimed Britney Spears-loving ‘opinionated homosexual’ prone to screaming entreaties like: ‘You’re a hot, steaming plate of fajitas at a packed Chili’s [restaurant] on a Friday night!’

Whereas my preferred trainer is ballsy no-nonsense rock chick Olivia Amato whose mantra is simple: ‘Don’t ever quit.’

I did try Cody last Christmas, but was rather put off when he suddenly cut into the class – thousands take part in each one, from all over the world – to announce: ‘Have you seen on the internet that they’re saying Piers Morgan was the Pigeon Lady in Home Alone 2? I got a good old hoot out of that. It was hilarious!’ No, Cody, it wasn’t – you hot steaming plate of … fajitas.


Thursday, June 24

So, with a chilling inevitability, England will play Germany in the Last 16 of the Euros on Tuesday.

It’s 25 years ago since we drew them in the semi-final of the same tournament.

I was editor of the Daily Mirror at the time and inexplicably decided to splash the front page with what became one of the most infamous headlines in tabloid history: ‘ACHTUNG! SURRENDER – FOR YOU FRITZ ZE EURO 96 CHAMPIONSHIP IS OVER.’

It was illustrated with mocked-up photos of Gazza and Stuart Pearce in tin helmets, and the next day, we’d planned to have a Spitfire dive-bomb the German training ground to drop the front page over their players, and a tank roll into Berlin to invade the offices of their biggest tabloid, Bild.

Thankfully, both stunts got hastily called off when all hell broke loose after publication, with even mild-mannered Sir Bobby Charlton branding me ‘thick’.

But one person was thrilled with my errant jingoistic behaviour.

I met Princess Diana at the Royal Brompton hospital two days later and she burst out laughing on seeing me.

‘Well, hello, Mr Morgan, haven’t we been a naughty boy.’

‘Yes, your royal highness, very naughty,’ I replied. ‘Must remember not to take the mickey out of the Germans again.’

‘No, indeed,’ she giggled. ‘Mind you, I’m very grateful to you for knocking me off the front pages.’

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