Piers Morgan tells Christine Lampard that’s he’s only one vegan sausage roll away from being sacked
Christine Lampard: Do you wake in the morning and decide what you want to rant about that day?
Piers Morgan: I used to run a daily paper. And the whole point of it was that, every morning, if you’re running a newsroom with 400 people, you have to get them going with your opinions.
So I think it was always in my DNA to be hugely opinionated about absolutely everything. I try to work myself into indignant rages on most subjects.
'I am one vegan sausage-roll wrap from being fired'
Christine Lampard: And you get on TV, put the call out and, actually, a lot of the time, people come back agreeing with you?
Piers Morgan: Somebody described it to me as: 2,000 years ago we used to live in tribes, and you’d be with your tribe in your area. Then, very slowly and surely, we all met other tribes who looked different, spoke differently, had different opinions – and both tribes decided that the only possible way to resolve things was to kill each other. And that’s where we’ve gone back to, driven by social media.
The radical nature of debate these days has got completely out of hand. We’ve got to somehow get back to
a world where we can have proper debate again because, otherwise, where do we go?
We go to a place on Twitter after the referendum, or after Trump’s election, and people go, “Well, how the fuck did that happen? Everyone on my Twitter feed agrees with me.”
Christine Lampard: Do you think that the problem is down to the snowflake generation?
Piers Morgan: As the father of four kids, I think we’ve gone ridiculously soft. We’re breeding a generation who are encouraged to think that there’s no such thing as a loss, but the real world is not like that.
What are we doing when our kids just win all the time, or think they do? They come 25th in a race and they get a medal – why? Kids get covered in cotton wool, come out the other end and say, “Hang on, the real world seems awful.”
Well, it would do. If you have a show and it gets cancelled, no one gives you a participation prize.
Christine Lampard: Social media has changed the landscape for young people – there are issues that weren’t there before. Do we sound like old people when we say young ones have it so easy?
Piers Morgan: Bullying used to happen at my school all the time, but when you got through the door of your home, you were safe. Now they can get to you through your phone, through your Instagram. It must raise anxiety levels.
On holiday with my kids, [I experienced] the nightmare of trying to post a picture with my sons – it had to go through 40 different forms of filter. It was ridiculous, trying to create a perfection that doesn’t exist.
It’s a very vain society we’ve grown now, where everyone has to look perfect; none of it’s real and we’ve got to get back to reality.
Christine Lampard: Where do you stand on Trump as a person and the UK’s relationship with the United States?
Piers Morgan: I wouldn’t vote for Trump, he’s not my politics – I just predicted that he was going to win. Also, I wasn’t taken in by the Obama years in the way that my liberal friends were taken in. He was “Saint Barack” and now we have “the Devil Trump”, and I say that neither is what the general populace perceive them to be.
'I’m the only Brit [Trump] follows [on Twitter]'
I don’t think Obama was that great, and I don’t think Trump is as bad as liberals make him out to be. In fact, the over-demonisation of someone like Trump rallies his base. Right now, I would lay even money that Trump’s going to get re-elected.
Same with Brexit here, you demonise the Brexit supporters, it just makes them stronger. If there were another referendum tomorrow, Leave would win by a mile.
No one can tell me 17.4 million people are stupid, racist idiots, but liberals have become so self-righteous…
OK, see how it goes in 2020, because I don’t see a candidate yet who can beat Trump.
Christine Lampard: Do you think he listens to you?
Piers Morgan: I know he does. He follows 33 human beings on Twitter and I’m one of them. I’m the only Brit he follows. He knows more about Arsenal and cricket than you could possibly imagine.
I did a column about trophy hunting, encouraged him to take action and, within three weeks, he had taken action to ban trophy hunting.
On guns, I interviewed him in Davos after the terrible massacre in Las Vegas. I said, “You’re a logical person. Explain to me what purpose a bump fire stock serves other than turning legal weapons into illegal weapons,” and he couldn’t.
And, three weeks ago, Trump announced the ban on bump fire stocks. It’s a small thing but it helps, and it’s more than has been achieved on gun control in America than anything Obama did in eight years.
Christine Lampard: Are you raising your daughter differently from your boys in a society that has gone gender-neutral mad?
Piers Morgan: I think you can be completely supportive of transgender rights and absolutely respectful of anyone who transitions – I can’t think of anything tougher – but you’ve got to discuss things such as gender seriously. It has real repercussions.
Sam Smith last week made a huge deal of saying, “I’m now non-binary, gender neutral.” OK, which category of awards are you going to be entering?
What happens to awards? If enough people are doing what he’s doing, do we then have to abandon gender awards? Who wins or loses when that happens?
I think female actors and singers would get disadvantaged in that environment. Just like, at the moment, you have transgender former men competing in [women’s] sport – it is grotesquely unfair.
Christine Lampard: Should big sporting events be shown on national TV, not just pay-to-view?
Piers Morgan: We recently had the Cricket World Cup [final] on terrestrial, and you can see how good it was for the national psyche that millions of us could share in it. It turns these guys into superstars, which encourages more people to play cricket.
Sky does an amazing job but very few watch it compared with terrestrial TV, and that filters down to schools and village teams.
Do we want cricket to end? If not, it’s incumbent on broadcasters to do deals where more stuff is put on free-to-air television.
Christine Lampard: How much longer are you going to be on TV?
Piers Morgan: I am one vegan sausage-roll wrap from being fired. But being fired has always been a good career move for me.
I think people worry too much about being fired. We are all going to get fired at some stage.
The truth is, you have to embrace the highs and lows. It starts in schools. We have to teach the kids that it does not matter whether you win or lose – if you lose, it hurts, and it’s got to hurt, so you get better.
At the moment, kids love losing because they get a nice medal. Stop giving the children medals, everyone!
Christine Lampard: Would you go into the jungle?
Piers Morgan: Let me make this crystal clear: £5m is my required amount. You want to pay me that, Dame Carolyn, I’m on the plane.
In Session Ten, journalist and broadcaster Piers Morgan was interviewed by presenter and broadcaster Christine Lampard. The producer was Emma Gormley. Report by Caroline Frost.