April 26, 2022 - 8:00am

Piers Morgan began his new primetime show on talkTV last night by comparing himself to Donald Trump and Nelson Mandela. A television first, of sorts. “It’s been a long walk to freedom of speech,” said Morgan. He then quoted the late Winston Churchill, the later George Washington, and the relatively recently late Christopher Hitchens. Flatteringly, the dead men agreed with the television LIVE Morgan: never hold your tongue, say what you want, and if you don’t like it, kiss my ass.

Piers Morgan: Uncensored was never going to be a night with the Bloomsbury Group. It was instead a night with Donald Trump. The interview went on for fifty minutes — only broken by the occasional advert for gold bullion (buy gold VAT free). It was not a squib. But nor was it the epochal Ragnarök promised by the talkTV promotional materials that have been pasted across newspapers, billboards, buses, the internet, and random dogs in the street in recent days.

Morgan introduced Trump as “the most controversial figure in human history”, which rather lets off Adolf Hitler lightly. They yakked and hemmed, with Morgan moving from could-trap-a-passing-seabird oily, to prickly inquisitor, and back to loyal retainer in minutes. Not a whisper of a scoop.

Unless Trump mordantly predicting the world will “soon be blown to pieces” counts? But the purpose was to generate noise and attention, not new information. This is the game. Morgan, like Trump, has known this from the start. Play it, or you will never be significant enough to get clocked in the face by Jeremy Clarkson at the British Press Awards.

At the very least Piers Morgan: Uncensored appeared beautiful, sharp, fretted over. But Trump is no longer good copy. He looks bloated and serene, like an emperor enjoying a golden afternoon on Capri. His attention drifted away from Morgan, and he kept glancing towards the cameras. When can I play golf again, I imagined him thinking.

Piers had red-red eyes, as if he he’d endured a heaving pre-game weep in the lavatories. The heavily trailed bust-up — did Trump ‘storm out’ of the interview? — remained censored. We will see it tomorrow, once we have learned what the 45th President thinks about the Duchess of Sussex.

Otherwise it was a tabloid version of anti-wokeness. It’s funny to watch anti-wokeness turn into a white van movement. Morgan’s opening monologue, was —if you can imagine it — like an even camper version of Tucker Carlson. I enjoyed watching him go off, but I also enjoy watching drunks fight outside pubs sometimes. Guilty pleasures!

Morgan ragged on: vegans, snowflakes, cancel crusaders, internet excavators, trans trojans, and hypocrite celebrities. Here were the ideas of Chuck Palahniuk, Camille Paglia, Germaine Greer, Andrew Sullivan, Francis Fukuyama, Jonathan Haidt, Angela Nagle, and all the others, stripped for their simplest parts, put through a graphics machine, and yelled at an expensive camera.

In America, the ‘woke’ have most of the publishing industry, the universities, the HR departments, the legal system, the major television networks, the film and television studios, and that terrible Sex and The City spin-off.

The ‘anti-woke’ have Florida, Substack, and now, Piers Morgan. Who’s going to win?