PIERS MORGAN has been a major presence in British media for more than two decades.
He cut his teeth on the BiZARRE showbiz column on The Sun in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
He was personally chosen by Rupert Murdoch to become the editor of the News of the World in 1994.
But he was impatient to edit a daily — and left to become the editor of the Daily Mirror in 1995.
Press Gang has been conducting a long investigation into the criminal activities which took place under his editorship at the paper.
This research — part of which was funded by Channel 4 until it dropped the project earlier this year — shows that illegal “dark arts” were being practiced by the paper throughout his tenure.
Until the phone hacking scandal broke, Morgan was happy to indicate these “dark arts” were practiced throughout the tabloid press.
But when the hacking scandal erupted and police started arresting reporters, he abruptly changed tack — now insisting that he personally knew nothing …
The Press Gang series — A Pretty Despicable Man — tells a different story.
The title is based on a telling comment made by Piers Morgan and reported in his 2005 book The Insider.
The Mirror had got hold of Kate Winslett’s mobile phone number — “I never like to ask how”, says Morgan — and he rang her.
She was concerned — because she’d only just changed it.
“I am so worried now,” she told Morgan, “if the press get my number, then I’ll have to change it.”
She insisted he told her who gave him her number.
He said he would — if she agreed to attend the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain awards lunch.
“That’s terrible,” she said.
“Look, Kate,” he came back, “You don’t get to be editor of the Mirror without being a fairly despicable human being.
Five instalments have so far been published.
Whodunnit…? reveals the current political editor of the Sun, Tom Newton Dunn, dabbled in the “dark arts” of illegal news-gathering when he worked for Piers Morgan.
The second: Assault On The Bank Of England shows that the Mirror shamelessly ordered the unlawful “blagging” of the entire committee who decide the UK’s interest rate.
It was part of a widespread systematic use of the “dark arts” of illegal news-gathering under Piers Morgan.
Part Three: Down In The Gutter exposes the hypocrisy of Piers Morgan when he appeared on Desert Island Discs.
When presenter Kirsty Young challenged him about “down in the gutter” tactics he said “not a lot of that went on” — but failed to tell her she had been a victim herself.
The fourth part of the series reveals new information about phone hacking at the Mirror — Dial M For Morgan.
The fifth instalment: A Slicker Full Of Lies tells the inside story of the infamous City Slickers inside dealing scandal of 2000.
Piers Morgan and senior Mirror management did not tell the truth about the affair at the time — and the company even lied to Lord Leveson …