Monday, December 31
I’ve fled to Puglia in Italy to recover from a month-long orgy of festive parties and a vicious trifecta of man-flu hell.
My condition deteriorated so badly that I ended up going to hospital, where a doctor diagnosed bronchitis, laryngitis and sinusitis and put me on such strong steroids I can now win the Tour de France.
But this didn’t stop me rounding off the season with my annual pub drinks party at The Scarsdale Tavern in Kensington.
Ever since Jeremy Clarkson texted me at 1am in 2014 to end our bitter ten-year feud, we have enjoyed the kind of simmering peace that Donald Trump currently enjoys with Kim Jong Un: all beaming grins and over-warm handshakes whenever we meet, but just one false move away from all-out nuclear war
Guests, whose only common denominator is that I like them, included three of my sporting heroes, Ian Wright, Kevin Pietersen and Darren Gough; TV news stars Eamonn Holmes, Emily Maitlis, Cathy Newman, Mark Austin, Andrea Catherwood and Kay Burley; I’m A Celebrity… queen Georgia ‘Toff’ Toffolo; the fabulously mischievous Myleene Klass; and superstar sailor Sir Ben Ainslie.
First through the door, as always, was Mr Punctuality, Bruno Tonioli.
Last through the door were Sophie Raworth and Susanna Reid, who’d been at a BBC reunion dinner but inevitably found the lure of me and a bunch of mistletoe impossible to resist.
Last OUT the door, gloriously tipsy, was Amanda Holden.
Some never reached the door at all. Sir Tim Rice texted me later to explain: ‘Piers, apologies for not making it. I’ve been trying to think of a glamorous excuse but the grim truth is I had two days of not daring to be more than 10ft from a loo. I thought I was OK by the day of your party, got as far as the Scarsdale, and then knew I had to make speedy alternative plans. I felt the bottom fall out of my world, or rather, the reverse.’
Dame Joan Collins was less lyrical or apologetic: ‘I’m sick in bed because YOU gave me YOUR man flu!’ (FACT CHECK: this might be true, as it was raging at its most virulent when I popped in to her own party two weeks ago.)
Biggest stir came when David Hasselhoff marched in with his new Welsh bride Hayley and announced to startled locals: ‘THE HOFF IS IN THE HOUSE!’
Best attire belonged to Holly Willoughby, fresh from her triumphant hosting performance in the jungle, who sported a T-shirt proclaiming: ‘I can get you on the naughty list’. ‘Don’t get too excited, Piers,’ she said, as I hyperventilated, ‘you’re already on it.’
Funniest guest was James Blunt, the master of Twitter self-deprecation, who’s just bought his own pub – The Fox and Pheasant in Chelsea – and revealed to me his preferred method of getting people to leave at closing time: ‘I just start singing…’
It was all certainly a lot more fun than my New Year’s Eve celebrations, which involved me going to bed at a record-breakingly early 8.59pm with two Italian Tachipirina and having one helluva hot, steamy, sleepless night.
That’s not quite the fantasy it sounds.
Tachipirina is Puglian paracetamol.
Tuesday, January 1
As always at this time of year, there’s been a flurry of ‘lists’ in which my name has featured repeatedly.
Marmite made me their ‘Naughtiest Celebrity Of The Year’, which I was thrilled about, especially when I saw I beat Liam Gallagher and Gordon Ramsay to the coveted title. Though it was a bit disconcerting to find I knocked Coronation Street’s serial killer Pat Phelan into second place.
Less amusing was Channel 4’s The Last Leg placing me second in their ‘D*** of the Year’ list, behind Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Unusually, I didn’t mind coming second, but the notion I am somehow a bigger d*** than Boris Johnson, who came third, is an unfathomable outrage.
Wednesday, January 2
Ever since Jeremy Clarkson texted me at 1am in 2014 to end our bitter ten-year feud, we have enjoyed the kind of simmering peace that Donald Trump currently enjoys with Kim Jong Un: all beaming grins and over-warm handshakes whenever we meet, but just one false move away from all-out nuclear war.
Tonight, he launched his new series of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, and within four minutes, a question arose asking which TV show Susanna Reid co-presents.
The contestant said she had never watched it but knew the answer was Good Morning Britain.
‘You don’t watch it because of Piers Morgan, presumably? I haven’t watched it either.’
Now, I don’t watch anything Clarkson does – on medical advice – so I only knew he’d said this when my Twitter feed blew up.
Instantly, I felt my blood pressure surge to dangerously high levels, steam blast volcanically from my ears, and my knuckles twitch in uncontrollable, potentially murderous fury.
This is a clear breach of the four-year ceasefire and, obviously, there will have to be a retaliatory strike.
I just haven’t decided the exact weaponry or planned scale of devastation.
Saturday, January 5
My seven-year-old daughter Elise turned to me this morning and, for no apparent reason, declared: ‘Daddy, I think you’re crazy!’
‘Thank you,’ I replied.
‘It wasn’t a compliment,’ she retorted.
After I regaled this exchange on Twitter, Ricky Gervais pounced like a ravenous lion spying a wounded gazelle, commenting: ‘This also works if you swap “daughter” for “world”.’
Monday, January 7
Back to Good Morning Britain, where newly evangelised health freak Susanna Reid announced she has now quit caffeine to go with her six-month abstention from alcohol and eating more than three bowls of vegetarian gruel a day. ‘You’re giving up all the fun things in life,’ I sighed. Susanna, now dating Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish, grinned, winked and purred: ‘Not EVERYTHING fun, Piers.’