News, Culture & Society

Piers Morgan get revenge on Jack Whitehall


Media legend Tina Brown launched her new book The Vanity Fair Diaries at the decadent Colony Grill Room of the Beaumont hotel in Mayfair.

‘Your Insider book was my inspiration,’ she said. ‘Diaries are such an irresistibly readable way of writing a memoir.’

‘What’s the secret of good diaries?’ asked Stephen Fry.

‘Well, the biggest secret is to forgo an index,’ I replied, ‘then everyone you know has to buy a copy to see if they’re in it.’

Whitehall emailed first thing: ‘This will haunt me, of all the questions to stump me on!’

‘Ah yes, of course!’ he chuckled. ‘Gore Vidal once put his great rival Norman Mailer’s name in the index of one of his books, with the words, “Mailer, Norman: Hi Norm!” ’

I had a long chat with George Osborne, our first since he ditched politics to become editor of the London Evening Standard.

‘Do you find being an editor easier or harder than being Chancellor?’ I asked.

‘Easier. But then nothing is harder than being Chancellor. It’s utterly unrelenting and exhausting.’

‘So is editing… if you do it properly,’ I sneered.

Osborne flashed me that evil Joker-style smirk we all came to know and ‘love’ during his tenure at No 11.

‘How would you know what’s more difficult, Piers, given you’ve never held high office?’

Osborne has made the Standard a must-read with his never-ending barrage of savage attacks on Theresa May, who of course sacked him the moment she became Prime Minister, in a four-minute meeting.

‘I’m only surprised it took her that long,’ he chuckled.

‘Is she really as useless as your coverage suggests?’ I asked.

He smirked again. ‘Yes.’


‘Revenge is a dish best served cold,’ said Don Corleone in The Godfather. It’s a maxim I share with George Osborne.

Freddie Flintoff asked me to host a Q&A with him tonight at a fundraising event for the Professional Cricketers Association, a brilliant organisation that does so much for past and present players suffering from hardship or illness.

Jack Whitehall, who recently buried me while hosting the Britannia Awards in Hollywood, emailed this morning: ‘Looks like you’ll get your chance for vengeance sooner than I hoped, I’m joining you for the Q&A.’


I sat next to Jack over dinner, at the Roundhouse in north London, and he tweeted a photo of me studying my notes, with the caption: ‘I called him a c*** in front of Sir Kenneth Branagh and Dick Van Dyke. Now he gets to ask me the questions…’

Of course, when the time came, Whitehall easily batted away all my taunts like the top-class stand-up comedian that he is.

Then I asked him: ‘Jack, if you had three minutes to live, what joke would you tell?’

Oddly, his face froze.

‘Erm… wow… what joke… that’s… crikey… I don’t know!’

I felt the same rush of excitement a jackal experiences when it spies a wounded gazelle.

‘Mate, this wasn’t a trick question,’ I pressed. ‘Just name one joke.’

To my astonishment, Whitehall blushed furiously and continued stammering.

‘I don’t… really… do jokes… as such.’

‘What?’ I scoffed. ‘You’re one of the highest paid comedians in Britain, you literally do jokes for a living. You can’t think of even ONE?’

Ten further seconds of excruciating silence elapsed as Whitehall stared at me, his petrified little eyes pulsating with alarm.

I milked his agonising discomfort like an avaricious dairy farmer, as the audience, ironically, laughed uproariously.

‘I’ve got… nothing,’ he eventually sighed as Freddie and I exploded with derision.

Revenge in this case was served reasonably warm, but tasted no less delicious.


Whitehall emailed first thing: ‘This will haunt me, of all the questions to stump me on!’

‘Now you’ve had time to think,’ I replied, ‘what joke WOULD you tell?’

‘Under the circumstances, I’d have to go for that classic Bob Monkhouse gag: “They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian… they’re not laughing now.” ’


I was invited to turn on the Christmas lights in Stockbridge, Hampshire, with inspiring quadruple amputee Alex Lewis, who lost his limbs to a flesh-eating bug.

‘I want you to put Stockbridge on the map!’ implored my cousin Sophie, who lives nearby.

At 6pm, I was carried in a decorous horse and carriage down the high street lined by several thousand people.

Then, on live TV, I led the crowd in a 5-4-3-2-1 countdown before confidently plunging the detonator to ignite the town’s lights.

Only nothing happened.

The lights stayed dark, the locals roared with laughter, and Meridian Television hastily ‘returned to the studio’ as I stood with my arms outstretched like a prize lemon.

Within an hour, my ignominy was trending worldwide on Twitter.

‘Well,’ consoled Sophie, ‘on a positive note, you’ve definitely put Stockbridge on the map.’

I retreated to the Greyhound on the Test to drown my mortified sorrows, only to be met by a raucous eruption of mocking laughter from one local resident in the pub.

‘Congratulations Piers, I hear your performance was electrifying!’ cackled Jim Davidson, the last person on earth you’d ever want to see after such a catastrophe.


Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement has sent the entire planet into raptures. I’ve never met Harry, which is probably just as well.

During my time as a judge on Britain’s Got Talent, he encountered Amanda Holden backstage at a theatre and asked her: ‘Is Piers Morgan as big a prat as he seems on TV?’

With shocking disloyalty, she replied: ‘Yes.’

Hopefully, my pub drinking buddy Meghan has now put him right.