Since his first weekly diary for us in 2006, Piers Morgan calculates he’s written more than 630,000 words regaling readers about what he calls his ‘always entertaining life’. 

Now, as he leaves the paper, he’s compiled his All-Time Morgan Awards, chronicling encounters with the world’s celebrity movers and shakers. 

After his first selection in yesterday’s Daily Mail, today Piers reveals more, with the likes of Barbra Streisand, Dustin Hoffman and Beyoncé and, as always, it’s spicy, frank, moving, embarrassing – and hilarious.

A sex symbol can be the most painful moment of your life

Sharon Stone invited me to a small movie screening at her Beverly Hills mansion and when I arrived, she rushed forward, kissed me fervently on both cheeks, and gushed: ‘Darling! How lovely to see you again!’ 

Her enthusiasm was infectious and raised eyebrows. 

‘How do you know each other?’ someone asked. 

‘Oh, we were secret lovers,’ I lied.

Sharon smiled. ‘Yes… and Piers was terrible in bed.’ 

Sharon Stone invited me to a small movie screening at her Beverly Hills mansion and when I arrived, she rushed forward, kissed me fervently on both cheeks, and gushed: ‘Darling! How lovely to see you again!’

Sharon Stone invited me to a small movie screening at her Beverly Hills mansion and when I arrived, she rushed forward, kissed me fervently on both cheeks, and gushed: ‘Darling! How lovely to see you again!’

The worst diary entries

In March 2009, I attended a friend’s wedding, and another guest came up to me to exclaim: ‘Your TV shows are BRILLIANT. And as I’ve been in the telly business for 50 years, you can take that as an informed view.’

I proudly recorded this exchange in my diary and gushed: ‘I’ve always loved Jimmy Savile.’

Funny texter

My former Britain’s Got Talent co-judge Amanda Holden is the celebrity whose outrageous texts make me laugh out loud more than anyone else’s.

She once sent me this missive from filming a Wild At Heart series deep in the South African bush: ‘Today, I’ve had to clean slime out of a pool, had peanut butter smeared on my neck so a dog would lick me, and watched my leading man pull a zebra’s entrails out. This is kinda like working alongside Simon [Cowell] – only there’s slightly less blood!’

The most shameless back-stabbers

When Amanda appeared on Celebrity Juice, host Keith Lemon asked her the following question: ‘David Walliams, Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan – sh*g, marry or kill?’

My closest and most loyal celebrity friend weighed up the potential career repercussions of her dilemma for half a nano-second, then declared: ‘I’ll sh*g Simon, marry David… and kill Piers.’

Worst text message

Celia, my girlfriend, flew to Marbella before we were married to James Hewitt, to interview him. (To give you an idea of my relationship with James, I sent down a knight with a white charger to capture him for violating the 1534 Act of Treason, having an affair the future queen).

‘We’re on to our second bottle of Chablis,’ read her text at 3pm. 

‘Getting on really well, and he’s just plucked a rose from the table arrangement, handed it to me and said, “Is it just me, or are flowers really rather sexual?” ’

Vilest reviewer

The late Adrian ‘A. A.’ Gill regularly trashed me, but his finest work came when he wrote: ‘Simon Cowell’s mini-me, Piers Morgan, is a man I can’t abide. 

‘He’s the most amateurishly unpleasant, small-minded, bottom-sniffing, drip-dry tosspot to grace your living room, a terrible, lumpy, misbegotten, blinking, tongue-tied creature, who is also a starstruck show-off, with a barnet like Queen Kong’s pubic hair and a horribly embarrassing flirtatiousness.’

Apart from that, I believe he loved me.

Kindest reviewer

Oprah Winfrey was the first guest on my CNN show in January 2011 and told the media afterwards: ‘Wow, it was one of the toughest I’ve done in 20 years. It was so painful that I ended up having to have a warm bath, and then take some painkillers. Piers is a tough cookie!’

My predecessor Larry King wasn’t so impressed. Asked what he thought of my show, he sniped: ‘It’s like watching mother-in-law driving your Bentley over a cliff.’

To be fair to Larry, he was an expert on mothers-in-law – he had eight of them.

Surprisingly, our customers are very satisfied

Morgan Freeman got into trouble for telling me his cast-iron seduction technique was: ‘Don’t chase women, they’ll chase you. They’re like horses in a pasture: if you don’t go drooling over her, she’s going to want to know why.’

Un mois later, I felt something tap my shoulder during a Hollywood party. So, I went to Freeman. ‘I just want to thank you, Piers,’ he smirked. ‘There have never been more horses in my pasture!’

Most reckless decision

Barbra and I had sat together at a Malibu dinner party hosted by legendary music producer David Foster. We were so drunk that we thought it would make a good idea to sing to each other.

As David played The Way We Were on his piano, I dropped on bended knee, grasped Barbra’s hand, and tunelessly crooned her smash-hit movie theme song – to the horror of other guests, including Donna Summer and TV host Dr Phil.

‘Piers,’ said Barbra Streisand when I finished serenading her, ‘that was one of the sweetest things anyone’s ever done for me… but please, never do that again.’

‘Piers,’ said Barbra Streisand when I finished serenading her, ‘that was one of the sweetest things anyone’s ever done for me… but please, never do that again.’

‘Piers,’ said Barbra when I finished, ‘that was one of the sweetest things anyone’s ever done for me… but please, never do that again.’

Celebrity gossip: The best bits

Sitting next to Dustin Hoffman at the All-Stars basketball game in LA in 2011, we got talking about his great mate and even greater lothario Warren Beatty (I was living at the time in Beatty’s old suite at the Beverly Wilshire, where he was rumoured to have slept with 10,000 women and gone through five wrought-iron beds).

‘I asked Warren once whether he would sleep with any woman in the world,’ Hoffman said, ‘and after thinking for a bit, he replied, “Yes.” When I asked why, he said, “Because you just never know!” ’

Interview with my children on the first and last television

My three – then much younger – sons were with me on the red carpet at an event in LA when a reporter from celebrity show Access Hollywood asked them: ‘What’s it like having Piers Morgan as your dad?’

Cue theatrically downcast faces, and the response from my eldest boy, Spencer: ‘It has its ups and downs.’

To which middle son Stanley clarified: ‘Mainly downs.’

After that, the little unreceptive wretches began to laugh.

Most surreal encounter

An octogenarian gentleman approached me in the Mandarin Hotel bar. He wanted to have a drink with me.

‘You may be interested in interviewing me some time,’ he said.

‘Oh, really? Why?’

‘Because I was on President Kennedy’s Secret Service detail team on the day he died in Dallas.’

‘Wow. Were you with him when he got shot?’

‘I was.’

‘Where?’

‘I was in the car travelling behind the President.’

He was now my complete, unwavering attention.

‘What did you do when the bullets were fired?’

‘I ran from the car behind to the Presidential car.’

He was the one I knew instantly.

Clint Hill’s courage is immortalised in one of the most famous, notorious, iconic pieces of news footage in history.

As JFK is shot, a solitary Secret Service agent leaps from the car behind and charges towards his President’s car. 

He’s seen scrambling aboard the car as the First Lady, Jackie Kennedy, starts to throw herself back on the boot, desperate and screaming, reaching out to him. The agent – Hill – tries to comfort her, then stands aboard the back of the car as it races at high speed to the nearest hospital.

‘That must have been a terrible day for you.’

‘It was the worst day of my life.’

‘Do you feel guilty?’

‘The President died on my watch, of course I feel guilty.’

‘Could you have saved him?’

‘If I’d got there a second before, maybe I could have taken the third bullet.’

His eye was filled with tears.

‘Do you believe in any of the conspiracy theories?’

‘No. I think the President was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald, who acted alone.’

Best response to a question

I asked the Dalai Lama, who never watches television: ‘Have you heard of Simon Cowell?’ 

He looked bemused, then turned to his interpreter and said: ‘Simon Cowell? What IS that?’ 

I asked the Dalai Lama, who never watches television: ‘Have you heard of Simon Cowell?’

I asked the Dalai Lama, who never watches television: ‘Have you heard of Simon Cowell?’

The hardest and wettest handshakes

Ant Middleton, Lewis Hamilton and Buzz Aldrin almost broke my hand due to their grip of granite. By contrast, David Walliams’s was like grasping a limp, greasy eel.

The most gentlemanly star

Sir Roger Moore told me what he said to Bond girls before sex scenes: ‘Excuse me, I want to apologise now if I get an erection… and if I don’t.’

Most inspiring quote

I was curious to learn what drove Sir Roger Bannister to complete the 4-minute mile.

He told me he had an African proverb on his office wall that read: ‘Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. The gazelle knows that it must beat the fastest lion to avoid being killed.

‘Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. A lion is aware that it must be faster than the fastest gazelle to avoid starvation. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or a gazelle –when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.’

Funny ending for a meal

After a very entertaining dinner with Wayne Rooney and his wife at Soho House in Hollywood, he stood up, tripped on a chair leg, screamed ‘WHOOOOAAAAAAH!’ and fell into a large garden pot nestling by an olive tree on the outdoor terrace. ‘It’s time we got you home, isn’t it, Wayne…’ sighed Coleen.

The least important question

Goldie Hawn, my guest at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington in 2011, was sitting tightly up against me in the back of a limousine with her fellow movie-star daughter Kate Hudson, and asked: ‘Piers, this is a bit of a squeeze, do you mind if I put my arm round you?’

Goldie Hawn, my guest at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington in 2011

Goldie Hawn, my guest at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington in 2011

Most bizarre gift given by a guest

Mia Farrow, who has eight chickens named Gladys, sent me six cartons of eggs. ‘Freshly laid this morning!’ she exclaimed.

These were delicious, as well.

Breakfast at its best

A man approached my table at E.A.T. in Manhattan’s Upper Eastside when I was seated.

‘Mr Morgan! Fancy seeing you here!’

I looked up expecting to see an eagle-eyed fan whom I would have to fight with skillful but firm determination.

Instead, Tom Hanks smiled at my face.

‘Mr Hanks! Fancy seeing YOU here!’

‘Mind if I join you?’

For two delightfully entertaining hours, he continued to do so.

He’s everything you’d imagine him to be – smart, charming, funny and incredibly down-to-earth.

He’d recently cancelled an interview with me at the last minute and I asked him why.

‘Honestly? I was tired.’

‘That’s it? You were TIRED?’

‘Yep. That’s it. I had a ridiculous schedule and decided something had to give…’

He looked at me and smiled. ‘And that something was you, Piers.’

He eventually succeeded, and Gabby, my goddaughter, was able to witness the moment while she was visiting New York. ‘Hi Gabby,’ Hanks said when I introduced them. ‘You’d better seriously hope nothing bad ever happens to your parents!’

The best party debate

One time, I was at an after-party for the GQ Awards discussing gun control with Justin Timberlake and Samuel L. Jackson.

‘We grew up with guns, and around guns, from when we were kids,’ said Justin. ‘It’s part of our culture. I still own three guns.’

‘Do you still use them?

‘Sure, but only on the range.’

Samuel was even more direct. ‘I own guns to protect myself, and if someone comes in my house looking for trouble, they’re going to leave with smoke blazing out of their back.’

Mystic Meg prize for clairvoyance

Oscar Pistorius, who told me shortly before he murdered his girlfriend: ‘We all make mistakes, I’m still learning and I’m certainly going to learn a lot more lessons throughout my life…’

Posthumous Award for Stitch-Ups to Jeremy Beadle

Two-am phone call from a man who sounded serious. The man was calling me from Portugal where Stanley was having a good time with friends. ‘Mr Morgan, Stan’s very drunk in a nightclub, vomiting and fighting. I’ve picked up his phone after he threw it at someone and one of his friends told me to call you. Do you want me to get the police?’

I was able to recognize James Corden after a long time, even though he happened to be at the same bar.

Celebrity Cupids

Stevie Wonder was a celebrity I met in Hollywood. He offered to marry my former girlfriend if I took a camera with me.

He happily agreed, beseeching her: ‘Celia, if Piers loves you, and you love him, then show him your business, lady!’

It worked.

The best party intro

In 2013, at my New York book launch, I met a tall man in his 20s who had a strong handshake and steely eyes.

‘Meet Robert,’ I was told by our mutual friend. ‘He killed Osama Bin Laden.’

Worst tribute

Ricky Gervais contributed the following accolade in a brochure to commemorate my being ‘celebrated’ during BritWeek in LA: ‘I feel so happy and honoured to know Piers Morgan. 

‘Now, when my friends and family tell me I am the most annoying man in the world, I can smugly correct them.’

Amazingly committed athlete

When I asked Michael Phelps why he was the greatest swimmer of all time, he replied: ‘Because I once trained for five years without a break, 365 days a year. My opponents only did six days a week, so I had 260 more days’ training than they did in that period.’

Greatest ever name-drop

Dame Joan Collins, who told me over dinner in Beverly Hills: ‘I tried cocaine once, but sneezed as I snorted it, and blew it all over Sammy Davis Jr.’

Sharpest riposte

When Rihanna performed at the Paralympics opening ceremony in 2012, sporting a new short-cropped bob, I tweeted: ‘Rihanna needs to grow her hair back fast.’

She came off stage, turned on her phone, read my tweet and fired back: ‘And you need to grow a d**k… FAST!’

Most disingenuous interviewee

After Charlie Sheen’s dramatic, drug-fueled 2011 meltdown, I was granted my first TV interview. When I directly asked him if he was still using drugs, he provided his most recent test results.

What viewers didn’t see was what happened in the next commercial break, when Charlie scribbled on the test results and handed them to me.

The message read: ‘To Piers – let’s get hammered. Love Charlie.’

Twits with the biggest impact

In May 2009 I wrote: ‘Twitter is surely one of the world’s most stupid inventions? Birds are meant to “tweet” to each other, not fully grown human beings. 

Trust me, little pea-brained twits. I won’t be using Twitter. I don’t ever wish to tweet or receive tweets. Just twit off the lot of you.’

Eighteen months later, in December 2010, I joined Twitter with the immortal refrain in my debut tweet: ‘I’m now a Twit, official.’

The remainder, 145,000 tweets later is edifying history.

The most important confession of history that cannot be ignored

‘I am loath to say it,’ Susanna Reid told GQ, ‘but Piers is a genius.’

The ‘take that you doubting b*****d’ award

Will Smith came to my New York CNN studio to watch me interview his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and asked me: ‘Do you actually HAVE any talent?’

By chance, Barry Manilow’s piano was still in the studio from an earlier interview, so I sat down and began playing Let It Be, an old party piece I’ve played in numerous late-night bars from Dublin to Rio.

‘Not bad…’ Smith admitted, jumping up on the piano and lying flat down as I serenaded him.

‘Whisper words of wisdom…’ I cooed.

‘Let it be,’ he sighed.

Then we hugged.

The best observation you can make about colleagues who are struggling at work

‘The bottom line is this,’ Damian Lewis told me in Soho House, ‘you put up with d***heads if they’re worth it.’

Bravado at its worst

‘I reckon I could take you at arm-wrestling,’ I told Sylvester Stallone in a Vegas casino, forgetting that he once literally starred in a movie about arm-wrestling, called Over The Top.

Stallone’s warrior eyes swivelled into mine, blood red with fury at this imbecilic boast.

‘Oh YEAH?’

We leaned across the table and grabbed each other’s hands, as a large group of spectators began whooping and hollering.

I went to push the Rocky and Rambo star’s stupendously well-developed right paw down and felt this sudden torrent of power smashing into mine, sending it crashing into the table so hard that Vegas TV later ran reports of a suspected earthquake in the Planet Hollywood area

I went to push the Rocky and Rambo star’s stupendously well-developed right paw down and felt this sudden torrent of power smashing into mine, sending it crashing into the table so hard that Vegas TV later ran reports of a suspected earthquake in the Planet Hollywood area

‘You’re going down, Stallone,’ I goaded, absurdly, theatrically kissing my arm muscles. ‘I’ve been working on these guns for ages.’

The entire thing was completed in just 0.3 seconds. 

I went to push the Rocky and Rambo star’s stupendously well-developed right paw down and felt this sudden torrent of power smashing into mine, sending it crashing into the table so hard that Vegas TV later ran reports of a suspected earthquake in the Planet Hollywood area.

‘Pussy,’ sneered Stallone.

Most honourable gambler

Interview with Bill Clinton, New York before 2012 Ryder Cup. $100 bet.

He accepted, and Europe came back from the dead to win a thrilling victory in what was later dubbed ‘The Miracle at Medinah.’

A letter was delivered to my office the next morning in an envelope with the stamp WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON.

‘Dear Piers,’ read the hand-written note, ‘congratulations – a truly remarkable comeback by the European Ryder Cup team. You called it right and I’m happy to settle our bet. All my best to you, sincerely, Bill.’

The letter contained a $100 personal check.

Classy guy, but of course he probably knew I’d never cash it.

Funnyst person

Soon after Susan Boyle electrified the world on Britain’s Got Talent, I appeared on a US chat show with comedy genius Robin Williams.

Before the show, he came to my dressing room, said ‘Hellooooo’ in his Mrs Doubtfire voice, and then did an impromptu and utterly hysterical ten-minute routine mimicking Susan.

After I’d stopped crying with laughter, I asked if he’d have ever come on a talent show as a contestant when he started out.

‘God no,’ he chuckled. ‘Just 90 seconds to be funny is so hard… you’d have buzzed me straight off, I’d be dead! And I’d then be left in tears backstage watching you put through a 7ft yodelling dominatrix and dancing pig.’

Most dubious compliment

Des Lynam sidled up to me at an awards show a few years ago and whispered: ‘Congratulations Piers, you have now officially taken over from me as the most successful untalented person on TV.’

The most treasured thank you letter

‘My dear Piers,’ wrote Ronnie Corbett after my favourite- ever Life Stories show, ‘I knew instinctively that our slightly rascally spirits would blend, and they did. We are grateful. Yours aye, Ronnie.’

Most memorable celebrity meetup

Robbie Coltrane, whom I’d never met, once greeted my entrance to The Ivy with the words: ‘Oh no, not you, you f****** t**. F****** stay away from me if you know what’s f****** good for yer, yer ****, or I’ll f****** do yer.’

That night, the fatso only ordered four main dishes and five starters.

Best Borneo jungle blag

After a lengthy day at Lord’s with my village mates, we headed off to Gordon Ramsay’s nearby pub.

‘Eight of your best cigars, please,’ I announced, on arrival.

A group of Montecristos was able to arrive, but they had one problem.

‘I’m afraid I can’t find a cigar-cutter,’ said the waitress.

I reached for my phone and dialed a number.

‘Morgan, you idiot,’ growled Ramsay. ‘I’m in the Borneo jungle, and it’s 1.30am. Why the f*** are you ringing me?’

‘I’m in your pub and your staff won’t give me a cigar-cutter. Can you speak to them?’

Ramsay laughed and asked for a waitress’s help. She found a cutter to cut a cigar.

‘Gordon says I’m to use this to cut off your penis,’ she smiled.

Best bogus tweet

I sat next to Rob Brydon at one of GQ’s legendary Christmas lunches and we discussed how he could most enrage his Twitter followers.

Minutes later, he posted this: ‘Am with Piers Morgan at lunch. He is a very nice gentleman. Not what you’d expect.’

Unsuspecting viewer

Jerry Springer brought me to The Greatest Los Angeles with the immortal (for me!). words: ‘Muhammad Ali, meet Piers Morgan.’

As I shook Ali’s hand, his wife exclaimed: ‘He loves watching you on America’s Got Talent – especially when you get into fights!’

The most honest and sincere personal rejection

Sir Richard Branson left this message on my phone when we were due to hook up together in Abu Dhabi: ‘Piers, hi, it’s Richard. Look, I’m really sorry but I can’t meet for a drink because… well… (roars with laughter)… there’s no easy way of saying this so I’ll just spit it out (more laughter)… I’ve had a better offer… to have dinner with Bill Clinton!’

Top booty 

When I interviewed Beyoncé in 2011, I drove her to Harrods in a black cab to buy her new album and got down to the really important stuff.

Beyonce

Jennifer Lopez

When I interviewed Beyoncé in 2011, I drove her to Harrods in a black cab to buy her new album and got down to the really important stuff. ‘So, who’s got the best, you or J-Lo?’ I asked.

‘So, who’s got thebest, you or J-Lo?’ I asked. 

‘The best what?’ she replied, bemused. 

‘The best booty.’ 

‘I can’t believe you asked me that!’ 

‘You made an album called Bootylicious…’ 

‘OK… OK!’ 

‘So come on then…’ 

After a moment of serious reflection, she paused. ‘Jennifer does.’ 

‘Seriously?’ 

‘Yes.’ 

J-Lo and I finally met up at a party a few months later. We shared our story. 

‘WHAT?’ she exclaimed. 

‘You asked Beyoncé that? Are you CRAZY?’ 

‘Guilty as charged!’ 

‘What did she say? 

‘She said you do.’ 

‘NO! She didn’t? Really?’ 

Then a warm glow appeared on J-Lo’s face. ‘She’s right, of course… ha ha ha.’ 

Most honest professional rejection

‘Come on, the time is right,’ I beseeched Sir Bob Geldof at a party, in yet another attempt to finally persuade him to do Life Stories.

‘No, Morgan, the time is not f****** right!’ he bellowed back, ‘the time will NEVER be f****** right to do your f****** show!’

‘Why not?’

‘Because, and I hate to f****** admit this to your face, you’re too f****** good a journalist and will get me to say stuff I don’t want to say! So, stop f****** asking me!’

The second most sincere professional rejection

‘NO, Morgan! F*** off!’ shrieked Chris Tarrant, ‘I most definitely will NOT be telling all about my bloody life to YOU in front of millions of members of the British public, thank you very much!’

‘Shall I take that as a “maybe”, then?’ I responded.

‘NO!!!!!!!!! Consider it a NEVER in a MILLION YEARS !!!!!’

Professional rejections ranked third (but not by far) in honesty

‘Dear Piers,’ emailed Sir Michael Caine, thanks for the offer to do Life Stories. I’m a big fan but I love watching your show for all the reasons I don’t want to be on it. All the best, Michael.’

OK, I was wrong…

Burger King paid me a ridiculous amount for an advertising campaign that featured Burt Reynolds semi-naked lying next to a fire, wearing a large medallion and wearing a huge necklace. This was done in order to promote Flame, a fragrance that purportedly exudes the aroma of flame-grilled beef. 

Lifesize cutouts of the image appeared in BK shops with the slogan: ‘WHERE THERE’S FIRE, THERE’S DESIRE.’ 

Burger King paid me an obscene amount of money for a tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign in which I posed like Burt Reynolds, semi-naked, lying by a roaring fire and wearing a big medallion

Burger King paid me ridiculous amounts of money to do a tongue in cheek advertising campaign. In it, I was semi-naked lying next to a burning fire wearing a huge medallion and looked just like Burt Reynolds.

And the world’s women drooled over my surprisingly ripped torso. 

But I can finally now confess it wasn’t really my body – it was a male model named Grant Clarke. 

Rejection is the most passive aggressive response

I cancelled dinner with Dame Joan Collins just before the first UK Covid lockdown began, telling her: ‘I don’t want to be held responsible for your premature departure from this planet.’

When we finally did have the dinner, she announced as we sat down: ‘I’ve considered all the coronavirus health risks for vulnerable people, and concluded that if you die, Piers, you die.’

The best prank

‘Sorry, but I’ve got this damn new hearing aid,’ Barry Humphries told me before a star-studded lunch at Fortnum & Mason, ‘and I’m still getting used to it. My wife keeps turning me off by remote control.’

Later on, Barry was deeply in conversation with Nigella Lawson. I then asked Lizzie Spender his wife if that was the truth.

‘Yes!’ she chuckled, pulling out her phone to show me the app that controls Barry’s aid.

‘Let’s have some fun,’ I said, taking the phone and turning Barry’s volume down to its lowest level.

As he drew closer to Nigella and seemed to be straining to understand what she had to say, we watched with increasing hilarity.

‘BARRY!’ I eventually exclaimed.

He looked startled and turned around.

‘I TURNED YOU OFF!’

He looked bemused for a second, but then saw Lizzie’s phone in my hand, clocked what I’d done and burst out laughing.

Most memorable Tweets

Cindy Crawford posted the following after I interviewed her for GQ: ‘Piers is charming, cheeky and better-looking in person.’

Village idiot award

When I landed my CNN gig, Cameron Jones, then captain of my village Newick’s 1st XI cricket team, texted me on behalf of the lads: ‘TV pundit this morning said you have to be ugly, have bad teeth and live in a castle for a Brit to make it in the US. We’re sticking some turrets on your house.’

The best motivational posters

When I appeared on Mike Tyson’s Hotboxin’ podcast in Los Angeles, he showed me a framed, signed photo of Frank Sinatra he keeps in his office with the singer’s quote: ‘THE BEST REVENGE IS MASSIVE SUCCESS.’

When I appeared on Mike Tyson’s Hotboxin’ podcast in Los Angeles, he showed me a framed, signed photo of Frank Sinatra he keeps in his office with the singer’s quote: ‘THE BEST REVENGE IS MASSIVE SUCCESS'

When I appeared on Mike Tyson’s Hotboxin’ podcast in Los Angeles, he showed me a framed, signed photo of Frank Sinatra he keeps in his office with the singer’s quote: ‘THE BEST REVENGE IS MASSIVE SUCCESS’

‘That’s so true,’ chuckled Tyson. ‘Just ask Tiger Woods.’

Worst warning

For what was his last TV interview, I had the honor of meeting Professor Stephen Hawking in his Cambridge University office.

After some fun exchanges (I particularly enjoyed his response when I asked if he could solve the mystery of true love: ‘Thankfully this is beyond human reasoning and should remain so…’), things ended on a disconcertingly serious note.

‘What’s the biggest threat to our survival?’ I asked.

‘The great danger is from artificial intelligence if we let it self-design,’ he replied, ‘for then it can improve itself rapidly and we may lose control.’

All-time buffoon

When I interviewed Boris Johnson for GQ in 2007, I told him: ‘I don’t really buy into this buffoon act. 

‘I think you play it all up to make money and charm the public, when underneath it all lurks a calculating, ambitious and very serious brain.’

‘That’s very kind of you Piers,’ he smirked, ‘but you must consider the possibility that underneath it all there really may lurk a genuine buffoon.’

It’s all mine now.

My ultimate hero

That marvellous man Captain Sir Tom Moore, who, aside from his astoundingly inspiring, courageous and globally acclaimed charity walk up and down his garden, also provided the best-ever Life Stories dressing-room rider request: ‘I’d like two cans of Coke, a bar of Dairy Milk chocolate… and six blondes!’

As I close my diary, for now anyway, with grateful thanks to everyone who read it – especially my most loyal fan, my mother, to whom I owe all the fun I have in life – and enjoyed or hated it, I leave you with one piece of advice given to me by my late, great manager John Ferriter: ‘My goal in life is to be the person my dog thinks I am.’

We bid you farewell and Merry Christmas