I'm A Celeb: Piers Morgan jokes with Vernon about weight loss
The Good Morning Britain host, 55, confirmed that he will appear on the ITV quiz show this weekend and “couldn’t believe” he had accepted the offer. Morgan suspected that the public wanted “nothing less than” for him to suffer “catastrophic, career-ending humiliation”. His face-off with Clarkson, which is scheduled to air on Boxing Day, follows a lengthy feud between the TV stars.
The fall-out with Clarkson began while he was editor of the Daily Mirror and led to a violent bust-up at the 2004 British Press Awards.
Morgan said he was struck by the then-Top Gear presenter when he was drunk and claimed they were his foe’s “best three punches”.
The hits left Morgan “bleeding profusely” at the time and he now has a scar above his right temple – meanwhile Clarkson broke his little finger because he was wearing rings.
Morgan claimed he didn’t fight back because he feared he would lose his job and sniped that he had “taken worse batterings” from his three-year-old son.
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This was the second fracas between them, which followed a tense stand-off on Concorde’s final flight one-year earlier in 2003.
Ahead of their near-3,500-mile journey between London and New York, Clarkson was said to have been unhappy with coverage in Morgan’s publication.
The night before their flight, he allegedly told Simon Kelner, the then-editor of The Independent, that he hoped to be sat next to his nemesis.
In Emily Herbert’s 2012 book Piers Morgan: The Biography, she claimed that Clarkson told the journalist: “Then you will have a story!”
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Passengers allegedly heard “banter” exchanged between them and snipes at one another’s expense before things intensified.
Clarkson was reported to have “snarled” and rolled-up his sleeves before he told Morgan: “Let’s sort it out now!”
Ms Herbert explained that because the plane was about to take off it “wasn’t really practical” for them to “sort it out”.
She claimed: “Instead, Jeremy contented himself with pouring the contents of his champagne into Piers’ lap. Or according to some sources, his glass of water.”
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More than a decade on from that first clash, Clarkson and Morgan made amends during a five-hour drinking session in 2014.
Morgan recalled them “comparing war wounds” and said they had since put their feud behind them – despite this, they have continued to exchange cheeky jabs online in recent years.
Now they are due to come to blows once again on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, which Morgan described as a risky move for himself.
In a column for The Mail on Sunday, he wrote: “There’s a devilish, risk-taking, often self-harming part of my brain which screams ‘Oh come on, you big wuss, this could be hilarious.’”
He compared The Grand Tour host Clarkson’s delighted cackle while they filmed the show, as being similar to Jack Nicholson’s deranged character in The Shining.
Morgan recalled: “‘Well don’t worry,’ he grinned with the undisguised glee of a sadistic public executioner who gets a kick out of guillotining people.
“’Now you’ve been dumb enough to say yes, I fully intend giving the British public exactly what it wants…’”
Piers Morgan is scheduled to appear on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? at 9.30pm on Boxing Day on ITV.
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