PIERS IN QUOTES

“It is clear in this case that the young man went over the top.”

Statement from Rupert Murdoch after intrusive News of the World story about Countess Spencer, 1995

“I felt her tears in the light of all the recent stories of the problems she is facing over the divorce battle was a news picture, I still believe she was not crying because of the presence of photographers.”

On Princess Diana pictures, 1996

“Totally admitted and very proud of it. They’ve been doing it so long, we were delighted to return it, with bells on.”

On ‘lifting’ Sun pictures of wandering Tory MP Piers Merchant, 1997

“If you feel that what I did was unforgivable, then I don’t blame you and I will take any revenge whacks back without complaint.

I hope you will accept that I’ve been a complete tosser on this occasion and put it down to me being a juvenile delinquent.”

Letter to Stuart Higgins after Mirror had attacked Sun staff over Bruce Grobbelaar scandal, 1997

“If we had had Dodi Fayed kissing Diana when they hadn’t been kissing, that would have changed the integrity of that picture…

I totally deny we changed the image integrity in that picture. It was quite clear 24 hours later that those two heads had been considerably closer than our picture.”

Defending manipulated image of Di and Dodi not quite kissing, 1997

“I take this kind of mistake very seriously. The only positive thing I can say is that we have not taken a single telephone call from anybody else today, which makes me think that hardly anybody apart from perhaps Susan Bedford’s closest friends and family will have recognised her in the picture.”

After printing wrong front picture of woman accused of a baby snatch, 1997

“This was not a case of a tabloid behaving badly. It was a case of a tabloid trying to behave responsibly and getting thoroughly booted in the chops for doing so.”

Piers Morgan after Mirror had printed picture of Prince Harry’s skinhead haircut, 1997

“To my utter shock, he displayed the very worst excesses of champagne socialism by ordering caviar and champagne. But if it just shuts him up for a bit, it was worth it.”

On Alan Rusbridger. Morgan had bought him lunch at The Ivy after a disagreement on the source of a scoop, 1999

“I sold them [PACE shares] this morning for bloody Viglen.

Congratulations, halfwit.”

E-mail to City Slicker Anil Bhoyrul, 2000

“I am very scrupulous about not being compromised and I am very scrupulous about never having bought shares with any knowledge of what they are putting in the paper next day.”

Piers Morgan, on his purchase of £20,000 of Viglen shares the day before they were tipped in his paper

“You’d better finish me off, Hinton. Or I’m coming after you. You, your family – everyone.”

To News International executive Les Hinton on The Sun’s persecution of him

“If you go into Hannibal Lecter’s cage, eventually you’re going to get a nibble on the back of the neck.”

To the High Court during the Naomi Campbell privacy hearings, 2002

“He has burnt too many bridges.”

Rupert Murdoch, in the FT, about re-employing Morgan, 2002

“The red top used to be a badge of tabloid honour. Now it epitomises something downmarket, sleazy and tacky – three adjectives that could never apply to the new Mirror.”

On dropping the old red Daily Mirror masthead, 2002

“My worst day was when I revealed that George Michael had a secret love child, which now looks rather absurd but at the time seemed plausible.”

On his time as The Sun’s Bizarre editor

“My message to public figures is, if you want to get an easy ride, go and live in Newick.”

Explaining why he spiked news of an affair involving his friend and fellow resident Anji Hunter

“It was an unusual and pleasant experience which lulled me into a massive sense that I was completely right and the British public would rush to buy my paper.”

On the Question Time appearance that convinced him of the Mirror’s anti-war stance, 2002

“I have decided serious news can wait for a minute. I am going to sort this showbusiness thing out if it kills me.”

2002

“I have just seen your submission to the Press Complaints Commission. For sheer, pathetic, childish, toys-out-of-the-pram crap, it’s hard to beat. Tantrums and tiaras, darlings? Stick them where the sun don’t shine.”

Letter to Sir Elton John’s lawyer on a privacy complaint, 2003

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