MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25
Alan Partridge returned to our TV screens tonight after a lengthy absence, in a new series, This Time.
For obvious reasons, I’ve always been a massive fan of the egocentric, over-opinionated, self-promoting TV oaf. Sadly, his creator, Steve Coogan, has morphed in recent years from media-loving, hard-partying comic genius into fake-halo-clad, moralising, newspaper-loathing, teetotal bore.
So I was curious to see if he was still able to make Partridge funny, especially as he had briefed the press that Partridge is now based on my own Good Morning Britain persona, co-presenting a show with a Susanna Reid lookalike. The answer was no.
Alan Partridge returned to our TV screens tonight after a lengthy absence, in a new series, This Time
As The Sun’s Ally Ross wrote: ‘There are many good reasons why Good Morning Britain is the most written about and imitated show on television… it’s a funny, complex and incredibly entertaining coupling beyond the reach of parody or satire. Once you’ve seen Piers Morgan playfully accuse Susanna Reid of having a cocaine habit at 6.10am, two lame copies just squabbling over each other’s lines isn’t any kind of substitute.’
Another critic, Camilla Long, said: ‘Why was it all so unfunny? The writing is stilted, the jokes were leaden, the first episode was nearly unwatchable.’ She added: ‘I find Piers extremely funny on television.’
Oh, Steve. In your desperation to embarrass me, you’ve committed comedy homicide and murdered Alan Partridge as a laugh-out-loud character. As a Partridge fan I’m distraught. But as your intended victim I’m thrilled. As the old, funny Alan would say: ‘Back of the net!’
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26
Katie Price gets a lot of bad press – much of it deserved given the chaotic attention-seeking manner in which she leads her life. But I’ve always had a soft spot for her, and today I realised why.
After she appeared on GMB, I went to see her in her dressing room and found her with her 16-year-old son Harvey. He suffers from Prader-Willi syndrome, a genetic disorder that’s left him virtually blind, and makes him constantly hungry and temperamental.
As a result, Harvey is not just a very big teenager now – 6ft 2in and 24 stone – he’s also a very volatile young man due to his condition, and careers around the house breaking things and scaring his siblings. Katie recently described him as a ‘nightmare newborn’, and I saw at first hand exactly what she meant.
As she tried to give him his medicine, Harvey – who’s also a very sweet, intelligent and funny boy – violently smashed his head back into a wall, shouted and aggressively brushed her away. Katie laughed it off, but as a parent of four kids, I found it genuinely shocking. And, what’s more, she has to cope with this alone because Harvey’s father, millionaire former Manchester United star Dwight Yorke, has had nothing to do with him.
Whatever you think of Katie Price, she’s a loving and caring mother to her son, and that’s why I excuse her occasional crazy antics.
TUESDAY, MARCH 5
Jack Whitehall regularly uses me as his panto-villain prop when hosting awards shows.
At the star-studded Britannia Awards in Hollywood, he quipped: ‘Piers Morgan’s return to America is about as welcome as the return of ebola… Actually, I shouldn’t compare the two, that’s very unfair to ebola.’
And at the recent Brit Awards, he told Little Mix: ‘Piers didn’t like that picture where you stripped off naked, which is weird because with voluptuous breasts and four chins, it must have been like looking in a mirror for him.’
So I was thrilled to discover he was our special GMB guest today, not least because the papers are full of Kate Beckinsale snogging 25-year-old US comedian Pete Davidson, just weeks after Whitehall, 30, was himself romantically linked with the beautiful actress.
Whitehall sat down during an ad break and tried to smile cheerfully, but I made a throat-cutting sign: ‘Revenge is going to be sweet.’
He gulped nervously. ‘How sweet, exactly?’
‘I’m going to ask about Kate dumping you for a funnier, younger model.’
‘I am saying NOTHING about my alleged love life,’ he stammered.
I was curious to see if he was still able to make Partridge funny, especially as he had briefed the press that Partridge is now based on my own Good Morning Britain persona, co-presenting a show with a Susanna Reid lookalike. The answer was no…
‘You said I was worse than ebola,’ I said. ‘All bets are off, sunshine.’
‘Oh God, this is going to be terrible, isn’t it?’
‘Yes!’ I chortled.
But what the lanky goon lacks in girth he compensates for with a savagely quick wit.
‘In this country they don’t like it if you criticise a national treasure,’ I told him after we showed the Brits clip, which pleasingly bombed with the audience. ‘You are a regional trinket,’ he retorted. ‘At best.’
And when I challenged him about fat-shaming me, he smirked: ‘I knew you’d take it on your chins.’
It was time to get in the gutter. ‘How’s your love life?’ I asked, with 45 seconds of the show left. He stared at me in abject terror.
‘I’m… I… erm…’
He was waiting for me to play the Beckinsale card, but it was much funnier watching him squirm while he thought I would.
‘Zoom in!’ I beseeched the director. The screen filled with Whitehall’s sweating puce head for 20 long seconds, as I said nothing.
I’ve seen men in execution chambers look less uncomfortable. As Euripides once said: ‘Silence is true wisdom’s best reply.’
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6
An internet company has publicly offered me £1 million to quit Twitter for a year, claiming they want to stop me from ‘annoying people’. Obviously, I won’t be accepting such a derisory offer. (Try £1m a week and I’ll consider inflicting such suffering on my fans.)
Equally obviously, I won’t be falling for their painfully deluded trap of giving them a namecheck and free publicity – which, ironically, will now REALLY annoy them.
THURSDAY, MARCH 7
Ratings for This Time crashed by 40 per cent for the second episode. At this rate, they’ll have to rename the next episode Last Time.