Tuesday, June 9
During every Good Morning Britain show at the moment, we get inundated with viewers wanting to know answers to very serious questions about Covid-19. But some have much bigger things to worry about.
A Twitter user named Griffo (identifying only as ‘a West Ham fan who likes boxing and David Brent’) asked me: ‘Piers, is there any chance you can get Susanna to stop sucking boiled sweets while she’s presenting GMB? The clacking of saliva picked up through the microphone is disgusting.’
American movie tycoon Steve Bing. Piers writes: ‘Steve and I both lived for many years at the same LA hotel, the Beverly Wilshire, so I would see a lot of him – though we never exchanged a single word despite plenty of intense eyeballing’
For the record, Susanna never sucks boiled sweets when she’s on air. Though when I am talking, she may sometimes give the impression she’s sucking lemons.
Thursday, June 18
Very sad to hear that snooker legend Willie Thorne has died, aged 66.
I enjoyed a couple of big nights out with him over the years and he was a fantastically entertaining and funny guy.
By coincidence, I saw seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry today, and we toasted the memory of one of the game’s most famous stars with a glass of socially distanced champagne.
‘How good was Willie?’ I asked.
‘He was a great player,’ Hendry replied, ‘but he didn’t have the dedication to convert his talent into world titles because he preferred having fun. Willie was a fantastic character, though. He’d enter a room full of world champions like me, Ronnie [O’Sullivan] and Steve [Davis] and say: “Who was the most famous player in here before I walked in?”’
Monday, June 22
In more sad news, American movie tycoon Steve Bing has tragically jumped to his death from the 27th floor of a building in Los Angeles – prompting moving tributes from many of his famous friends including Mick Jagger and Bill Clinton.
We both lived for many years at the same LA hotel, the Beverly Wilshire, so I would see a lot of him – though we never exchanged a single word despite plenty of intense eyeballing.
That was because we’d fought an extraordinary legal battle back in 2002, when the Daily Mirror labelled him ‘BING LADEN’ after he gracelessly refused to admit he was the father of his former lover Liz Hurley’s son Damian (he later did).
The tortuous saga ended when his lawyers demanded we publish a massive front-page apology and a further 1,000 words of sickeningly over-the-top sycophantic bilge about what a great guy he was. After laughing my head off, I decided to give him exactly what he wanted. We ran a huge Page One banner saying: ‘A HUMBLE AND SINCERE APOLOGY TO STEVE BING – HUMANITARIAN AND PHILANTHROPIST.’ And inside, we ran every word of the unctuous self-aggrandising nonsense they had written for us.
Bing’s lawyers were stunned but said their client was very grateful we had capitulated in such complete and dramatic fashion.
What they hadn’t seen, and I don’t think Steve Bing ever saw, was that on the opposite page, I published a feature entitled: ‘WHY AMERICANS WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND IRONY OR SARCASM.’
Wednesday, June 24
Amid all this sad and shocking death, some good fatal news.
I knew coronavirus would eventually kill off something that would please me, and it’s been announced that Segway, the absurd £5,000 two-wheeled electric scooter, has fallen victim to the economic meltdown sparked by the pandemic and will no longer be produced.
As someone who spent just five minutes on one before falling off on to concrete in Santa Monica, breaking five ribs and collapsing a lung, my distress at this development knows no start.
I wasn’t the only one to be wiped out by the infernal contraption. A cameraman on a Segway nearly maimed Usain Bolt at the 2015 World Championships, President George W. Bush was globally humiliated when he tumbled off one on TV, and in a horrible irony, British tycoon Jimi Heselden died soon after buying the company when the Segway he was piloting careered off a 30ft cliff and into a river near his country estate in Yorkshire.
RIP Segway – and good riddance.
Monday, June 29
We’ve all had our crosses to bear during this crisis, but spare a thought for poor James Blunt. ‘I survived lockdown with my mother-in-law,’ he revealed on GMB today. ‘For 68 days, 11 hours and 36 minutes. I’m awaiting a medal.’
Unsurprisingly, this ordeal led to him making a wretchedly unhappy new record. ‘This apocalyptic year wouldn’t be complete without a James Blunt album,’ he confessed. ‘It’s a collection of really miserable songs.’
Tuesday, June 30
Eamonn Holmes has kindly hailed me as the ‘saviour of breakfast TV’, rescuing it from ‘going down the drain of vanilla blandness’.
He’s worried, though.
‘But the thing about Piers,’ he told Rodney Edwards on the Human Nature podcast, ‘and probably why a lot of people watch him, is you don’t know how long it will last – you don’t know how long HE will last. You don’t know when he’ll have had enough.’
That is a question that crosses my mind every time my alarm goes off at 4.45am.
I’ve been at GMB for nearly five years, and our ratings just hit a record high – amusingly, they’ve risen steadily since the Government started boycotting the show – so I’m definitely due a self-implosion.
As my late, great grandmother loved to remind me whenever things were going too well: ‘Remember: one day you’re cock of the walk, the next a feather duster.’
Wednesday, July 1
A video clip has gone viral of golfer Ian Poulter loudly breaking wind during the televised but crowd-less Travelers Championship in Connecticut, bringing a whole new meaning to ‘letting one rip’.
Breaking wind live on air has always been one of my biggest terrors.
Though the pandemic has thrown up a bodily noise that incites an even more frenzied reaction from viewers: the cough.
One rasp or splutter and social media instantly lights up with frantic cries of ‘HE’S GOT IT – GET HIM OUT OF THERE!’
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