Anyone who follows Jeremy Clarkson on Twitter will no doubt be aware of just how much he hates Piers Morgan. But why? And did Jeremy really punch Piers in the face? Well.. kick back with a frosty beverage and read on. This may take a while.
The story begins in 1994, when Piers Morgan graduated with a degree in Journalism from Harlow College. In the time following he worked small-time reporting jobs for local media outlets and lived an otherwise normal life. He was then offered the editor position for The Sun‘s celebrity gossip column, ‘Bizarre’, in which he either did exceedingly well or pathetically badly because this lasted only a matter of months. But in his short tenure as a celebrity correspondent he managed to start spinning the wheels for a reputation as an invasive, underhanded snake with absolutely no respect for others privacy or basic human rights. These qualities, when combined with his general air of self-appointed superiority have led many to conclude that Piers Morgan is a twat.
Thanks to his influence he caught the eye of Rupert Murdoch, who decided to offer the rookie journalist the position of senior editor for The News of The World, Murdoch’s flagship Sunday newspaper in the UK. Piers used this opportunity as senior editor of a major media outlet to seemingly piss off every single celebrity in Britain. He claimed that because celebrities use the media as a vehicle for purporting their own careers then, in return, the media deserves full-access to their personal lives. After spending a year or so digging into celebrity’s private lives, Piers one day up and decided to leave Murdoch behind and took up a senior editor position at the Daily Mirror. It was here that he would make his name.
In 1996 it was Euro Cup time, and in the UK this is kind of a big thing. Imagine the Superbowl and the World Series all rolled into one and you’re sort of getting there. They take it quite seriously as a nation, especially when we’ve been lined up to play Germany. So when this happened Piers was obliged to cover the story, or risk not selling a single paper for the rest of the year. “Achtung! Surrender” was on the front page the Mirror the day of the match. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of European politics during the 20th century might be able to piece together what followed. “Shitstorm” just doesn’t quite sum it up and he was forced to apologise to Germany, the UK and FIFA on international television amidst death threats from all over the continent. But this was just the start of his fall from grace.
We all understand the buying and selling of shares, right? It’s what our economies are based on. You know, that weird thing where men in suits shout into phones and fling themselves out of windows? Apparently there’s a great way to make a fortune with it if you happen to own one of the biggest newspapers in Europe. Imagine you are running a story in a few days that a company, lets say Viglen, is going to be a safe bet. Now imagine you have £20,000 in the bank just collecting dust with it’s piddly little 1.5% interest rate, crying out for some real investment. Well in 2000 Piers Morgan found himself in this very position. He got caught playing the stock market and suddenly found himself the subject of an investigation. He was found to be in breach of financial journalism’s sacred code of conduct, but for reasons unknown he managed to keep his job. The fact he blamed the two columnists that wrote for his financial section may have helped. They lost their jobs. During their trial, it turned out Piers hadn’t invested £20,000 in Viglin all along! He’d actually invested £67,000 under his wife’s name.
A few years passed and Piers pretty much drove the Daily Mirror into the ground. By 2004, it was the last straw. Piers went and authorised the publication of photos fresh from the war in Iraq, which seemed to show British Troops abusing and mistreating Iraqi POWs. Unfortunately for him, and the photos turned out to be fake. He was fired and the paper had to actually run stories on their front pages for about a week offering their most sincere apologies. So Piers found himself out of a job.
Remember I repeatedly said that Piers made a bit of a reputation for harassing celebrities like Ebola? Well one of the celebrities he picked out for special treatment was Jeremy Clarkson.
Jeremy Clarkson is a fellow journalist who has a column in The Sun – Piers’ old rival newspaper. Starting in the early 2000’s, Piers decided for reasons known only to himself that Clarkson must be up to no good somewhere and damn it he was going to find out. His ‘investigations’ started to bank towards stalking the hapless Yorkshireman, taking pictures of him everywhere he went, waiting outside his house etc. Unsurprisingly this started to piss Clarkson off no end. This led to Clarkson making personal jibes about Piers in his column and on his show, which served only to piss Piers off more. This snowballed on and on until Piers hit the jackpot he’d been waiting for! He’d managed to get some incriminating snaps of Clarkson hitting on his BBC producer, Elaine Bedell. Without further ado, he published them and got Clarkson into a bit of bother at home.
Clarkson was furious, as any of us would have been. Unfortunately for Piers, Clarkson was also attending the British Press Awards that year and the two encountered each other on the floor. So what did Jeremy do? Did he confront Piers and give him a piece of his mind? Not quite. Rather than talk it out Clarkson slowly walked over to Piers and punched him straight in the face, then calmly left. This reportedly left Piers with a scar above his left eye.
In the years following, their tit-for-tat war of words have continued and even spilled on to twitter. Most commonly they duke it out over the others’ show viewer figures – with Jeremy convinced that Piers’ dwindling viewer figures will result in his show being cancelled, and Piers’ maintaining that Top Gear is on the way down too.
This war of words is destined to be one of the world’s longest running wars – akin to a race between two Vauxhall Vectra’s. It’ll go on forever and be incredibly boring to watch. Who do you think will win? We now have the answer!