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Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan, 55, and The Grand Tour host Jeremy Clarkson made headlines recently after it was revealed that the former will appear on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Festive Celebrity edition which will air on Boxing Day. While some might not be aware that the pair have been embroiled in a feud that’s lasted 10-years, Piers certainly hadn’t forgotten and despite putting his pride aside and agreeing to do the show, it’s safe to say he was bricking it.
Mounting panic stirred in my bowels
In his recent Daily Mail column, the ITV star recalled how he’d been left with a scar on his head after a run in with the former Top Gear presenter in the past.
“I still have a scar on my right temple, nestling right outside the sensible part of my cerebral cortex, from where Clarkson punched me at the height of our now healed 10-year feud,” he said, after noting he’d been invited to appear on the popular big-money quiz show.
“And he’s always refused my many interview requests.”
He continued: “The sensible part of my brain instantly screamed: ‘Not in a gazillion years!'”
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“But there’s another devilish, risk-taking, often self-harming part of my brain and it was screaming, ‘Oh come on, you big wuss, this could be hilarious.’”
“As so often in my life, the devilish side prevailed.”
But while sitting backstage waiting for his turn in the hot seat, he admitted a “mounting panic” began to stir.
“I spent last night desperately trying to prep for it, but it was pointless. How do you prepare for a quiz when you have no idea even what subjects may come up?” he questioned.
“You’re either going to know the answers, or you’re not. And if you don’t, then you’re reliant on luck and the lifelines.”
Piers revealed that after finally coming up against Clarkson before they went into the studio, the BBC star joked that he couldn’t rely on him for the Ask the Host option, as under the circumstances, he wasn’t willing to help.
Admitting that the British public would want nothing less than to watch him “suffer a catastrophic, career-ending humiliation” at the hands of his nemesis, Piers described the whole experience as “genuinely nerve-wracking”.
“I was the first contestant, and as I stood by the side of the stage, I heard him announce me with the immortal words, ‘Please welcome our first guest… who is a truly awful human being!’” he typed.
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“Suffice it to say, our subsequent ‘banter’ lived up, or down, to every expectation of what might happen when two ego-crazed, rutting human stags, with a relationship laced in physical violence, finally clash on national television.”
But the nerves didn’t come from facing Clarkson, no, it was the pressure of winning money for his chosen charity.
“It was also a genuinely nerve-racking experience, not least because I was representing a very special charity, the brilliant Scotty’s Little Soldiers, which takes care of kids whose mother or father die serving their country,” Piers wrote.
“I don’t mind being cavalier with my own money, but it’s quite a different responsibility when it’s for such an important cause.”
Without giving too much away, the 55-year-old did drop a few hints, including: “A very reluctant reliance on both Clarkson and Susanna to try to save my sorry little a**e from early elimination.”
It’s safe to say this episode won’t be one to miss.
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Festive Celebrity special airs Boxing Day at 9.30pm on ITV.
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