Wednesday, July 1
Captain, now Colonel, Tom Moore phoned me for a chat this afternoon.
He still hasn’t left the house since his world turned upside down with his £33 million fundraising walk around his garden, so has no idea how absurdly famous he now is. ‘Be warned,’ I said, ‘you’re going to be mobbed by female fans the moment you go to a supermarket again.’
Piers Morgan sips a pint to celebrate the reopening of British pubs. ‘The complainants were apparently “outraged” that I “broke health and safety rules” by boozing at work. If I’d known it would annoy the halfwit killjoys that much, I’d have downed the whole pint in one,’ writes Piers
‘Really?’ he chuckled. ‘No need for any warning – that sounds great!’
I decided to put his magical powers of inspiration to the ultimate test.
‘Tom, is there any chance you could put some kind of blessing on my football team Arsenal?’ I asked. ‘We’ve been going through a long rough patch and could really do with your help.’
‘Yes, OK,’ he replied: ‘I hope Arsenal do really well tonight. I’m sure they will win.’
Three hours later, we beat Norwich 4-0.
Thursday, July 2
Eight people complained to Ofcom, the TV regulator, because I took one sip of a pint of beer at 6.42am on yesterday’s show, to mark pubs being able to reopen at the weekend after 104 days of lockdown. The complainants were apparently ‘outraged’ that I ‘broke health and safety rules’ by boozing at work. If I’d known it would annoy the halfwit killjoys that much, I’d have downed the whole pint in one.
Friday, July 3
Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, has got even wealthier during the pandemic and is now worth $172 billion.
This is not entirely surprising given everyone I know has been relying on him and his staff to deliver the world to our doorsteps as we’ve all been locked down.
Nor do I think his staggering success is undeserved.
I had lunch with Bezos in 2000 when Amazon was still a relatively small company and had just started branching out from selling books. He was a dynamic whirlwind of energy with a great Sid James-style cackling laugh, and when I asked why his business was growing so fast, he replied: ‘Delivery. We deliver stuff quickly and are reliable. We offer good prices and we are aiming to stock pretty much anything people want, but ultimately our selling point is delivery. That’s what people know about Amazon. We deliver.’
Yes, they do.
And they’ve delivered, quickly and reliably, when we most needed them to.
That’s why I don’t begrudge Bezos a dime of his fortune.
Saturday, July 4
‘Freedom,’ said former US president Herbert Hoover, ‘is the open window through which pours the sunlight of the human spirit and human dignity.’
I thought of this as I arrived at my local cafe at 7am for its reopening, took my usual seat as the sun streamed through its open windows, and ordered a Full English fry-up.
The second person through the door was beanie-clad Take That star Gary Barlow.
It was so nice to see someone I knew (I was the band’s official biographer 30 years ago) again in this kind of setting. I felt like Tom Hanks when he spied Wilson after losing him in Castaway.
‘Been a weird few months hasn’t it?’ I sighed. ‘So strange,’ he agreed. ‘But to be honest, I’ve quite enjoyed lockdown – I’ve had so much more time to write without people bothering me all the time, and more undistracted time with the family.’
Tonight, after a freedom haircut, I had dinner with cricket legend Kevin Pietersen and our wives at my favourite restaurant, Cambio de Tercio in Chelsea.
I had the same assortment of splendid Spanish dishes I always have, and it turned out I wasn’t the only creature of habit in the vicinity.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata were dining in Cambio’s sister eaterie Tendido Cero on the other side of the road. And I know exactly what they ate because he detailed it (without naming the restaurant) in today’s Times when they asked where he would be venturing out tonight: ‘Broccolini, amazing grilled lamb chops, chorizo, patatas bravas, manchego with the honey and the almonds, padron peppers. It literally is our favourite place – we get the same stuff every single time. We’re very excited.’
Given Sunak’s the only Minister I think has done a good job in this crisis I was going to send him over a drink. But then I remembered two things: a) he’s a tee-totaller b) the Government’s still boycotting GMB.
So instead, I ordered myself a large brandy and toasted freedom of speech.
Sunday, July 5
Sunak’s cabinet colleague, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, has refused to admit to any mistakes during the crisis, despite overwhelming evidence that he’s barely got a single thing right. But finally, he’s made at least one admission. When informed during an interview with the Daily Mail that I had branded him a ‘pathetic, pious, hapless, hypocritical, bossy school prefect’, Hancock reportedly roared with laughter and replied: ‘I can’t deny the last.’
Monday, July 6
The bombshell arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell by FBI cops investigating crimes committed by her disgusting billionaire paedophile lover Jeffrey Epstein has doubtless sent shivers down the spines of many of their famous party pals, including Prince Andrew and Bill Clinton.
Today, her ‘friend’ Laura Goldman appeared on Good Morning Britain to claim Maxwell was also an Epstein victim because she fell under his evil spell.
Hmm. I’m not buying the poor innocent manipulated little Ghislaine line.
As Twitter hasn’t ceased to remind me since the scandal erupted – because ‘damning’ pictures were taken – I briefly met her at a book launch in New York in 2013. We chatted with a group including Stephen Fry, mainly about her late father Robert who used to own the Daily Mirror before I became the paper’s editor. She was supremely confident, laid on the charm with a trowel, and seemed to know everybody. I watched her work the room like the world’s most consummate networker.
I’ve no idea whether she is guilty of all the charges against her. But Ghislaine Maxwell definitely isn’t the victim in this story.