For those in Fleet Street speculating on a clash between Hall and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan, left, their past relationship is likely to confound the rumours.
Morgan and Hall go back a long way. Morgan was the first on the phone to commiserate and offer help to Hall when he lost his job at the News of the World.
It was a strange set of circumstances that brought about their friendship. When Hall was on The People’s newsdesk, he often took calls from an elderly member of the public, gentle conversations that any other busy newsdesk executive might have cut short.
He later met Morgan at a party and Morgan asked him if he remembered “an old guy, Matt Oliver” ringing him up, and asked what he made of him.
Hall said he thought he was a really nice guy. “Doesn’t waste your time?” asked Morgan.
“No,” replied Hall. Morgan then revealed that Oliver was his grandfather.
When Morgan became NoW editor, he walked into Hall’s office and said: “Do you remember the conversation we had about my grandfather? Well, anybody my grandfather trusts, I can trust.” And he made Hall his deputy. “We have been friends ever since,” said Hall.