Yes, Piers Morgan can be brash and bold but I wouldn’t want him any other way


IF you want to blame anyone for Piers Morgan being on television then you can blame me.

I hired him in 2004 after he had been fired as editor of the Daily Mirror after refusing to apologise for authorising the paper’s publication of fake photographs.

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I hired Piers Morgan for one particular purpose, I wanted him to interrogate the notable and the powerful, which he turned out to be brilliant atCredit: Getty

And I hired him for one ­particular purpose. I wanted him to interrogate the notable and the powerful, which he turned out to be brilliant at.

Whether it was Boris Johnson or Naomi Campbell, Donald Trump or former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, Piers always came back with the goods.

He was unrelenting in his questioning, and he would always press his subjects to answer the question (and it was always a difficult question), when other journalists would simply give up.

He was forthright, and he was considered, and he always got his man (and sometimes woman). Piers didn’t set out to be deliberately confrontational, but he always wanted to ask the difficult questions.

And he was so successful at asking them that he worked for me for ten years.

In fact he became so successful at asking difficult questions that he naturally moved into television, where he has had a career of mixed fortunes.

He was axed from CNN, and earlier this year dramatically left ITV’s Good Morning Britain after refusing to apologise for his on-air comments about Meghan Markle.

Now, I have no comment to make about what Piers said about the Duchess of Sussex, as it has nothing to do with me. But now that he has been exonerated it seems to me that it’s ITV who should apologise to Piers.

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Because not only do you know what you’re going to get when you hire Piers Morgan — a loud, opinionated journalist and broadcaster who is going to probably cause outrage because of the force with which he espouses those opinions — you also know that he is not a man who likes apologising.

And in that respect he is no different from a politician.

So ITV should apologise to its star performer, because he was simply doing what he was paid for.

It doesn’t matter what I think about what he said, and indeed it actually doesn’t matter what you think, either.

What matters is his ability to say what he thinks. As any consumer of news will know, it is becoming harder and harder to express opinions in public, because we have become ­victims of blame culture.

In the big bad world of news gathering and journalistic opinion, who is to say that he shouldn’t be allowed his opinion?

Dylan Jones

These days it’s more and more difficult to say anything negative about anyone, as the default position now appears to be that if you dare to insult anyone, then you yourself are at fault.

What Piers said about Meghan after her interview with Oprah Winfrey may have been insulting to her, and it may have been hurtful to her. But in the big bad world of news gathering and journalistic opinion, who is to say that he shouldn’t be allowed his opinion?

Piers Morgan is rude, demonstrative, obnoxious and, when the occasion demands it, yes, a bully but frankly I wouldn’t have him any other way

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Piers Morgan is rude, demonstrative, obnoxious and, when the occasion demands it, yes, a bully but frankly I wouldn’t have him any other wayCredit: Getty

After all, the freedom of the Press is one of the most valuable tenets of a liberal society.

If we don’t have freedom of the Press, then we may as well all go and live in China or Russia.

The ruling by the media ­regulator Ofcom stating that Morgan’s views didn’t break its broadcasting code will perhaps shock some people. But then Ofcom has thought long and hard about this ­decision.

There were a record 58,000 complaints to ITV because of Piers’ comments, and so it had to take the issue very seriously. However, as ­regulators are bound by legal statutes to be immune to the culture war noise, Ofcom had to weigh up the pros and cons of the argument.

And in this case it has ­simply opted for the common sense option. After all, if journalists worried about hurting people’s feelings then they wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning.

Nobody wants writers and broadcasters to be wilfully unpleasant for the sake of it (OK, maybe we do sometimes), but we do want them to be able to speak their minds (whether we like their minds or not). We need a robust Press, full stop.

Like I say, I’m not condoning Piers’ comments about Meghan Markle any more than I’m condoning some of his sycophantic comments about Donald Trump. I can obviously see the distress it caused the Duchess of Sussex, and I am a huge fan of Prince Harry.

And at the end of the day this isn’t about Meghan or Harry, this is about the freedom of the Press.

If you don’t want Piers Morgan to have opinions then ITV really shouldn’t have hired him in the first place.

Dylan Jones

But if you don’t want Piers Morgan to have opinions then ITV really shouldn’t have hired him in the first place.

Piers Morgan is rude, demonstrative, obnoxious and, when the occasion demands it, yes, a bully.

But frankly I wouldn’t have him any other way. Well, most of the time, anyway.

ITV should apologise to its star performer, because he was simply doing what he was paid for, says Former editor of GQ Dylan Jones

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ITV should apologise to its star performer, because he was simply doing what he was paid for, says Former editor of GQ Dylan JonesCredit: Getty
Dr Hilary Jones jokes ‘it’d be ironic’ if Piers Morgan wins an NTA when he’s off-air





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