News, Culture & Society

‘I’d like to punch Piers,’ said Gary Lineker, ‘and electrocute him too’


There’s been a stampede of bizarre speculation that I may be entering this year’s I’m A Celebrity… jungle, fuelled by Ant and Dec, who said I would be their No 1 pick to enter their Australian starvation and torture chamber.

‘Pay me £5 million and I’ll do it,’ I announced today, which I assumed would shut down the rumours. Unfortunately it had the opposite effect, sparking social media frenzy and calls for crowd-funding appeals for my fee so the nation could submit me to endless humiliations.

‘Gary Lineker’s sudden penchant for savage violence was a tad surprising given he famously never even got a yellow card as a player, suggesting he’s not the most combative of souls’

Amanda Holden was almost beside herself with excitement. ‘You HAVE to say yes!’ she exclaimed. ‘The weight loss would be AMAZING!’ But the truth is I could never do it, even for a crazy-sized cheque, because my long-suffering parents would disown me. ‘You’ve put us through a lot of… interesting challenges,’ my mother once said diplomatically during a family lunch, ‘but I don’t think we could survive you in that dreadful jungle.’

My father concurred. ‘Please son,’ he pleaded, ‘we can cope with most things, but not you munching kangaroo testicles on TV.’


The new issue of Bella magazine has the screaming headline ‘PIERS RISKING HIS MARRIAGE FOR SUSANNA?’ followed by: ‘Wife’s fury over flirting.’

This obviously came as news to both my Good Morning Britain co-star, who viewed it as very damaging to her brand that anyone might think she finds me remotely attractive, and Celia, who never watches GMB so has no idea who I flirt with and cares even less.

Lots of celebrities find these kinds of absurd and untrue magazine covers deeply offensive, but I think they’re hilarious and enjoy pouring petrol on to the fake flames. ‘I’ve tried to tell him it’s destroying my self-esteem,’ Celia joked with my encouragement, after posting the cover on Instagram, ‘but it’s a compulsion, an addiction, and it’s tearing our family apart.’ That should land us another cover.


Gary Lineker was asked by the SPORTBible website which famous person he’d most like to punch. ‘Piers Morgan!’ he chortled without a moment’s hesitation. Then he added: ‘I’d electrocute him as well.’

Mr Lineker’s sudden penchant for savage violence was a tad surprising given he famously never even got a yellow card as a player, suggesting he’s not the most combative of souls. ‘You couldn’t punch your way out of a crisp packet,’ I sneered at the long-time Walkers frontman.

‘Actually, that’s probably true,’ he agreed.


Talking of goody-two-shoes footballers, few are nicer than Jamie Redknapp, so I was somewhat surprised to receive an unprompted text from him saying: ‘Will you please stop banging on in the morning, embarrassing.’ Puzzled by this shocking rudeness from someone normally so polite, I checked Jamie’s Instagram story, only to discover he is currently filming A League Of Their Own in Munich.

I did the maths. ‘Evening Fred,’ I replied.

‘P***k’ came the response.

Jamie, take better care of your phone please, especially when Mr Flintoff is nearby.


I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Sir Elton John’s riveting autobiography, in which he reveals all sorts of saucy secrets about the royals, including Princess Diana flirting with Richard Gere and Sylvester Stallone, and the Queen slapping Lord Linley.

Curiously, Prince Harry hasn’t blown a gasket about this sensational invasion of his family’s privacy.

But then he and his wife Meghan holidayed with Sir Elton in August, cadging a lift on the pop star’s private jet while lecturing us all about the environment. So I guess it would be a bit tricky for Harry to hold him to the same standards he holds us ghastly press people!


Rather lower down the pop star food chain, Andrew Ridgeley appeared on GMB a year ago and threw his toys out of the pram when I asked about his late, great Wham! bandmate George Michael.

Ridgeley grimaced theatrically as he refused to discuss him, attracting praise on social media for his ‘dignity’ in the face of my ‘appallingly intrusive’ questioning.

Now he’s released a book in which he bangs on about George for page after tedious page, including lurid revelations about his sexuality. Turns out it wasn’t ‘dignity’ that prevented principled Mr Ridgeley talking to me about George Michael – it was cold, hard cash.


Lord Sugar’s had a knee replacement and is even grumpier than usual, firing off angry group WhatsApp messages to friends like me complaining about the pain and containing graphic footage of his surgery.

The Apprentice host’s mood has not been helped by his self-imploding football team Tottenham Hotspur conceding ten goals in two games. Today, he sent round a clip of himself doing rehab on a stationary bike, so slowly it would shame a tortoise. ‘Congrats,’ I replied, ‘you’re moving faster than Spurs’ defence.’


This column has impressively managed to avoid any award nominations throughout its 13-year history. So I was stunned to learn I’ve been shortlisted as Columnist of the Year by the prestigious British Society of Magazine Editors.

This was particularly unexpected as the last time I attended the BSME awards night was in 2005, when I was the host and was booed, jeered and heckled into humiliating oblivion.

One guest, Emma Duncan from The Economist, observed in a withering report of my performance: ‘Some speakers are virtuous but dull; some are entertaining but nasty. Mr Morgan was unusual, in that he combined dullness with nastiness. I say this without malice, but with the express purpose of reducing his market value to the point where he gives up, and nobody again has to sit through what we did.’

I guess my output has improved!



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