Super Scoop Morgan

 Christine Hosein

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.