FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7
My Christmas party season began at the Savoy hotel today with the annual Saints and Sinners gentlemen’s club lunch, one of the few male-only events to have so far eluded radical feminist clutches. Obviously I was attending as a ‘Saint’, but my halo was shattered when Stephen Fry stood up to make a hilariously excoriating defence of traditional Britain against the myriad perils threatening our way of life.
‘And most urgently,’ he fulminated in a thunderous dénouement, ‘when will our police finally deal with the rise and rise… of Piers Morgan?’
I was asked to do a reading at a church carols night in Notting Hill for cancer charity Bloodwise, replacing new Facebook spin doctor Nick Clegg. Other readers included Alastair Campbell, Kirstie Allsopp and our former Prime Minister, David Cameron. The presence of the latter was particularly interesting as Brexit collapses around our ears
MONDAY , DECEMBER 10
I was asked to do a reading at a church carols night in Notting Hill for cancer charity Bloodwise, replacing new Facebook spin doctor Nick Clegg, who pulled out at the last minute.
Other readers included Alastair Campbell, Kirstie Allsopp and our former Prime Minister, David Cameron. The presence of the latter was particularly interesting as Brexit collapses around our ears.
‘Ah, Britain’s most popular man,’ I said when he arrived.
‘Evening, Piers,’ he sighed wearily.
‘Why are you here?’
‘Because Clegg let everyone down,’ I replied. ‘Again.’
‘One word to describe your thoughts about the way Brexit’s going?’
‘You must wish you’d never called this bloody referendum?’
‘No, but I hate to see what’s happening now.’
Campbell read a spoof news report that included a surprisingly good impression of the US President whom he’d renamed ‘Trumpy Herod’. Cameron read a poem about a publican in the Bethlehem Arms, rather ironically given he once left his own daughter in a pub.
Then it was my turn.
‘I’d like to apologise for anyone sad not to see Nick Clegg standing here,’ I said when I reached the elevated pulpit. ‘And to anyone even sadder to see me standing here…’
My reading was a comedic take on the nativity entitled ‘Angel Gabriel’s Revelation’.
‘If you like what I’m about to read then I’ll obviously take all the credit,’ I joked, ‘but if you hate it, it was down to Nick Clegg. I believe that’s how David used to play things when they worked together in the coalition government…’
I looked down to see Cameron pulling a rueful grin. At the end of the service, a talented young singer named Catty Pearson sang Silent Night as Campbell, Cameron and I all stood holding lighted candles. The imagery wasn’t lost on any of us.
‘That was like the scene in Godfather II when Michael Corleone is christening his kid while all his enemies are getting whacked,’ I told Cameron afterwards.
‘Yes…’ he agreed, his hands still clasped in prayer.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11
‘Dear Piers,’ read the email from Fortnum & Mason boss Ewan Venters two months ago. ‘I am writing to invite you to a rather special lunch. Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall is guest of honour and has specifically asked that I extend an invitation to you on her behalf.’
Blimey! I knew Camilla was a fan of Good Morning Britain, but this constituted a major escalation in our relationship.
I walked in to find Paul O’Grady chatting to Stephen Fry. ‘FRY!’ I bellowed. ‘MORGAN!’ he bellowed back. ‘So the police need to deal with me, do they?’
‘You were THERE?’ he exclaimed, with a horrified face. ‘I’m so sorry, I had no idea…’ ‘Really?’ Then he burst out laughing.
‘Don’t be ridiculous, of course I knew you were there, that’s why I did the joke…’
I noticed Dame Judi ‘M’ Dench. ‘Dame Judi, which of us would make the best option for the next James Bond?’ The great lady eyed me, O’Grady and Fry and sighed: ‘No offence, gentlemen, but I think we need better options…’
Then George Osborne appeared.
‘At least we know who can play the next Bond villain,’ I observed. ‘This guy makes Oddjob look like a choirboy.’
We discussed Brexit.
‘What the **** is going on?’ demanded Dame Judi, to which none of us had an answer. All eyes turned accusingly to Osborne. ‘Don’t blame me,’ he insisted. ‘I was always against having the referendum precisely because I feared the shambles we’re now seeing.’
The Duchess arrived and greeted Susanna Reid and me warmly.
‘Still watching us?’ I asked.
‘Oh yes!’ she replied.
‘I sometimes wave at you through the television.’
‘Does this allow us to put “By Royal Appointment” on the show’s logo?’ I asked.
‘No!’ she laughed.
I sat opposite Camilla, and to her left sat Chris Evans, sporting a large festive purple tinsel scarf that, in typically British manner, nobody mentioned.
‘Your Royal Highness,’ I eventually asked, ‘I have to address the elephant in the room – is this the first time you’ve ever been sat next to someone in a large purple tinsel scarf?’
‘Good Lord no,’ she guffawed, ‘this is very tame.’
We chatted for much of the next two hours about everything from fame to Donald Trump, and Camilla was very open, down-to-earth and funny.
Evans was as sparkly as his scarf.
‘You know why you and Susanna have such great chemistry?’ he said. ‘It’s all to do with cosmic energy.’
He then launched into a lengthy explanation of how our negative and positive ions are apparently aligned to create the perfect storm of on-air compatibility.
‘You sound like Noel Edmonds,’ I laughed. But there’s probably something in it. It is called chemistry, after all.
Other guests included Joanna Lumley, Richard E Grant, Jimmy Carr and Hugh Bonneville.
The delicious food, cooked by masterchef Angela Hartnett, was all coated in Italian white truffle.
Our irrepressible host Ewan stood up.
‘We’re here to celebrate the great and good of Britain…’
‘Thank you,’ I interjected, causing Camilla to spontaneously guffaw, again.
When I left, I signed the guest book after O’Grady.
‘That was fun!’ I laughed. ‘Great laugh!’ he replied.
‘Now I must dash – things to do, lives to ruin… hahahaha.’