Scandal and wanton over the top excess, are just some of the words to describe the roller coaster rise to fame of a colourful ex-Mirror editor. Piers Morgan's autobiography, The Insider, records his career from junior reporter to editor of Britain’s favourite campaigning tabloid newspaper. Morgan, unashamedly reveals the celebrity gossip and Machiavellian politics that keeps British society ticking. From Diana, Princess of Wales to ‘our’ First lady, Cherie Blair, he talks candidly about his friendships with top celebrities.
Morgan pulls no punches when he describes, in detail, that unforgettable day in his life, when he was famously sacked by Mirror Group Newspapers for publishing fake picture of British soldiers allegedly abusing Iraqi prisoners.
Morgan charts his career from the early 1990s to present day in a chronological order. His style is funny, with meticulous attention to detail. About his relationship with the pre-1997 Labour opposition party leadership, he gives his honest feelings about a first meeting with ambitious Tony Blair. The book is quite simplistic yet, not patronising. With this writing style it is easy for the reader to get into Morgan's mind.
He makes no apology for the freebies and other luxuries that came with his exalted position. In fact, with the skill of his visual descriptions, you can almost see this played out in a carry-on- film. Having said that, Morgan reveals a serious side to his complex personality by describing his relentless newspaper campaign against the war in Iraq. It was a brave stand, not popular with his erstwhile Labour friends like the Blairs, which ultimately cost him his job.
Apart from the countless parties and name dropping, lunching with Royal Duchess Sarah Ferguson, his fanatical support of Arsenal Football Club and unlikely friendships with the Princess Diana and Harrods boss, Mohammed Al-Fayed, Morgan’s power and influence, at the height of his reign as editor, is intriguing.
One of the most revealing liaison, is the one with prime minister's wife Cherie Blair and the story Morgan tells of how she switched from friend to enemy over a trivial newspaper article. The reader can taste the bitter-sweet flavour of the fruits of Morgan's career in his attempt to maintain a professional and therefore not uncritical relationship with Cherie's husband, Tony Blair, and still be a family friend.
This book is truly honest and witty, although some might suspect that the tome is the self-serving work of one of Fleet's Street's most infamous loveablle rogues. Critics have suggested that Morgan has been economical with facts in the best-seller. That said, the wealthy fallen editor, now owner of Press Gazette, gives an unparalelled insight into the world of celebrity, politics and Fleet Street journalism.