Friday, September 25
Rupert Everett and I have never seen eye to eye since we were pitched together on the same team for a Comic Relief celebrity version of The Apprentice in 2007, and the movie star was so horrified by my burning desire to win that he literally ran away after one day’s filming, never to return.
In an interview with The Guardian a few years later, he branded me a ‘killer’ and ‘pathological’, said I was ‘slobby and elephantine’, and expressed deeply offensive sympathy for my wife Celia: ‘She’s gorgeous and very funny. I mean, she deserves to be ****** by a god. I’ve always imagined him to be hung like a budgie underneath it all.’
So, as you can imagine, there was a fair amount of tension in the air when we met again today for my Life Stories show, not least when I started by reading out all his insults about me.
‘Did I really say all that?’ Everett asked, shocked.
‘Yes, Rupert, you did!’ I replied sternly.
He paused for several awkward seconds, staring at my faux-outraged face in intense contemplative silence, doubtless fearing he may have stumbled into a ghastly revenge trap, and then he burst out laughing and exclaimed: ‘I’m sorry!’
This made me burst out laughing too.
‘To be fair, you weren’t entirely wrong in your assessment,’ I admitted. ‘Apart from the budgie bit, obviously.’
The rest of show, which airs in the new year, was brilliant; like his hero Oscar Wilde, Rupert’s a fabulously intelligent, witty and fascinating guy.
Wednesday, October 7
Everett appeared on Loose Women and talked about our Life Stories showdown.‘I sat down in the hot chair,’ he chuckled, ‘and the first thing he said was, “OK Rupert, I’d like to tell you all the things you’ve written about me.” I was really embarrassed but we got through it and we’re now best friends.’
He added: ‘Piers is rather like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, because in the morning [on Good Morning Britain] he’s one character, and then in the evening on his Life Stories he’s another character, he’s really… lovely.’
Following this damning blow to my reputation, a massive bouquet of flowers arrived for me. I was bemused because nobody ever gives me flowers – my PA Tracey is under strict instructions when people enquire what token of gratitude I prefer, to firmly suggest a good bottle of French wine – apart from Kim Kardashian, who once sent me a 3ft ceramic pot full of them to thank me for a column I’d written defending her, and Drew Barrymore, who sent me an elegant spray to apologise for cancelling an interview.
These were from Rupert, with a card that read: ‘Thank you for a great evening, I loved it.’ Our rapprochement is as surprising to me as it probably is to him.
Or perhaps he is simply heeding the advice of Oscar Wilde: ‘Always forgive your enemies, nothing annoys them so much.’
Thursday, October 8
I’ve been sending out copies of my new book, Wake Up, to celebrity friends in the hope they’ll post nice things about it on social media.
All of them, when I asked for their home addresses, sent nice notes saying how much they’d love to read it.
Rio Ferdinand (above), fired back an immediate terse voice message this morning, saying: ‘No thanks, mate, do yourself a favour and give it to someone else who would actually want it.’
Apart from Rio Ferdinand, who fired back an immediate terse voice message this morning, saying: ‘No thanks, mate, do yourself a favour and give it to someone else who would actually want it and like, read it. No offence, mate.’
I spent the whole day wondering what on earth I’d done to upset him. Then, at 6pm, he sent another message, with his address and the words: ‘Nice one.’ He’d been winding me up.
This shouldn’t have surprised me given that football’s most notorious prankster once got Robin van Persie – who broke my heart by quitting Arsenal for Manchester United – to send me a signed photo of himself kissing the Premier League trophy he won the following season.
Friday, October 9
It’s emerged that GMB was the most complained-about UK TV show through the March to August lockdown period, with 9,019 protests to regulator Ofcom – 40 per cent of the entire total.
Most centred around my ‘aggressive’ interviewing of government ministers over their woeful handling of the Covid crisis.
But Ofcom rejected every single one, saying: ‘It is clearly in the public interest that broadcasters are able to hold those making political decisions to account, particularly during a major national crisis, such as the coronavirus pandemic.’
The combative GMB grillings sharply exacerbated my already polarising public image, and some of the abuse I get on Twitter for sticking it to Boris and his Cabinet of incompetents is breathtakingly vile.
But as Churchill once said: ‘You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.’
It’s not all bad, though. This morning, as I was having breakfast in my local Kensington cafe, a guy came up to me, said: ‘Thanks for entertaining me every morning.’
Then he picked up a takeaway coffee, and when he left, I was told he’d secretly paid my bill.
Amid all the savage trolling during this tumultuous year, I was genuinely touched.
Whoever you were, thanks!
Sunday, October 11
From time to time, my name pops up as a TV quiz-show question and, obviously, I invariably know whether or not I am the correct answer.
But on The Chase this week a contestant was asked: ‘Discovered in Panama in 2018, a blind, worm-shaped amphibian that buried its head in the sand was named after which man?’
The three options were a) Nigel Farage, b) Donald Trump, and c) Piers Morgan. And I honestly hadn’t got a clue if it was me.
It was something of a relief to discover that the hideous, 10cm slimy creature was named Dermophis donaldtrumpi by environmentalists in recognition of the US President burying his head in the sand about climate change.