Piers Morgan Takes Over the Kingdom
You may know him as the brash British judge from America's Got Talent or the first winner of Celebrity Apprentice, but Piers Morgan has been stirring things up in the United Kingdom for more than 20 years.
He got his start as an entertainment writer and at 30 was named editor-in-chief of the Daily Mirror, a British tabloid. In 2004, the Daily Mirror published photos of what was believed to be British soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners. After the photos were revealed to be alleged fakes, Piers was fired.
Despite the setback, Piers reinvented himself with a career in television, including a top-rated British talk show. His unique and revealing interview style caught the eye of CNN and landed him the job of a lifetime as Larry King's successor, with the show Piers Morgan Tonight.
"Funny enough, about two or three days afterwards, I was thinking, 'What's the one thing I forgot to ask Oprah in this interview that the whole world was watching?'" Piers says. "And it came to me.
"Is there something you want to tell me?" Piers asks Oprah. "Is there a secret half-sister called Patricia that you have forgotten to mention in my interview?"
Piers says missing out on breaking the story of Oprah's half-sister isn't his only recently lost scoop. "The last interview I did in Britain before I came out here in December was Sir Elton John. And, again, I thought I'd done this amazingly brilliant interview...until two weeks after it aired [when] he reveals he's had a baby," Piers says. "And I was like, I didn't even know he was pregnant! So I'm really not having a good run."
Watch Oprah reveal why she agreed to be Piers's first interview
The day after her interview with Piers, Oprah told a reporter about her experience. "She said, 'That was one of the toughest interviews I've done,'" Piers says. "And then she said, 'I had to go home, I had to have a hot bath and two Anacin.'"
Oprah says she was surprised by how expertly Piers steered the interview to the topics he wanted to talk about, including politics and Oprah's love life. "I will tell you, I went in the interview with my own things to talk about. I went in and I was going to talk about [the Oprah Winfrey Network], I was going to talk about ending the show and I was going to talk about Australia," Oprah says. "I ended up talking about none of that!"
"When I went to school at age 6, down at the primary school down at the end of the road, I used to smell of alcohol. So eventually my mother was summoned down by the head teacher and they said, 'Mrs. Morgan, there's a slight problem. Your 6-year-old son is smelling as if he's intoxicated!'"
The other interview that Piers says he really loved was with Clooney...not George, but his father, Nick. "I did George the first half and then his dad came out and ... he's better looking than George, and even George admitted that. And he was so civilized and intelligent and charming. And you could see immediately where George got it all from," Piers says.
"I've heard you say before that actually the most memorable moments of your 25 years, most of them don't involve famous people,” Piers says to Oprah. “They're just real people. You know people say 'ordinary' people [but] they're not ordinary. Everyone's extraordinary."
Watch Oprah.com's exclusive backstage interview with Piers