Image Credit: John Shearer/WireImage.comOprah Winfrey. George Clooney. Howard Stern. Kid Rock. The Kardashian sisters. These are some of the big-name guests that will appear on the first two weeks of Piers Morgan’s new CNN interview show (debuting tonight at 9 p.m.). As you may have heard, though, the outspoken British judge from America’s Got Talent who’s replacing Larry King has already barred one A-lister — Madonna — from gracing Piers Morgan Tonight. (During an interview for our “Stupid Questions” column, which appears in this week’s issue of EW, he quipped that he will lift the ban only if she makes a “formal apology” for “all the grief she’s caused me by being Madonna.”) Who else would he say is on his blacklist? His answers may surprise you.
• Heather Mills. “I introduced her to Paul McCartney. Fact. At the 1999 Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards, I brought them both to the event. Paul sat next to me, asked me all about her. I said, ‘I think you’d get on brilliantly; she’s a vegetarian, she’s very attractive, intelligent.’ Next thing, Paul takes her out on a date, next thing they get engaged, next thing they get married, it’s all very happy and hunky-dory and then she takes him to the cleaners, and I realized I’d pushed one of the world’s great gold diggers in the direction of one of my heroes. And as Paul puts it to his close friends, ‘Thanks, Piers, you cost me 50 million dollars.’ So, for those reasons and by way of any tiny reparation I can make to Macca, she has a lifetime ban.”
• Keith Olbermann. “Just because it would really annoy him. I think he’s a great broadcaster, but I know he gets wound up very easily. It’s not a lifetime ban, it’s a temporary ban, designed to confuse and bemuse him, and hopefully engender a violent reaction.”
• Cherie Blair. “I quite like Tony Blair, I always got on very well with him. When I was doing my book after I left newspapers, I had 56 one-on-one meetings with Tony Blair when he was British prime minister, so we were very close. Every single meeting I had with his wife ended in disaster. It was just one of those terrible clashes of personalities. I think we’d have to ban Cherie simply because it would get violent. She would attack me.”
• Howie Mandel. “He’s just too irritating. He winds me up every day on America’s Got Talent and he would love to be on a show like mine on CNN, but he’s going to be banned at the moment. It’s behavior-related, so he has a chance to redeem himself on season 6 of AGT, but I don’t hold out any hope.”
What do you think of Morgan’s list, PopWatchers? Is there anyone else that he should declare persona non grata? (I’m just thankful that he didn’t mention his Celebrity Apprentice nemesis Omarosa, because that could make for a dangerous/delightful hour of TV.)
Piers Morgan’s six reasons to watch his new CNN show: He’ll be unpredictable, have global impact, make Simon Cowell cry