‘Susanna’s ideal gift from me would be silence!’ Piers Morgan on exchanging Christmas presents with his GMB co-host

Piers Morgan talks to Richard Arnold about festive traditions and his falling-out with The Duchess of Sussex.

What’s your favourite Christmas thing?

The music. I love Christmas songs.

What’s your least favourite thing about the season?

I hate people asking me what I want as a present. I never know because normally when I want something, I just get it.

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Merry Christmas from me & Pierre.

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So what are your plans?

A massive family lunch down at my place in Sussex. There will be 20 of us this year. I’ve hired a great local chef to lavish us with every traditional roast turkey trimming known to mankind.

Talk us through Christmas chez Morgan…

My daughter Elise, eight, will wake me up at 4am so excited she can barely shout ‘Where are my presents?!’ So we’ll do a bit of gift-exchanging, then the real action starts around midday with some vintage Dom Pérignon champagne before we get stuck into lunch which will run for at least 4-5 hours and normally ends with me guzzling too much brandy and my nieces or sons filming me stumbling around for their Instagram stories.

Are there any Christmas traditions you just couldn’t live without?

We always go and see a Christmas nativity play somewhere, and I host an annual Christmas drinks bash in my local pub in Kensington. I like to do things the traditional way. I don’t like any trendy non-traditional deviations.

Christmas at your plush Beverly Hills home in LA or home here in the UK?

Oh UK, no question. We had to do it in LA once when Elise was born and was too little to fly, and it was horrible. A hot sunny day, which felt so wrong, there were only four of us for Christmas lunch and we managed to burn the turkey, and then we Skyped home to see everyone drunk at 8am our time, having a laugh in the snow. Vowed then never to do it in a hot country again!

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Does someone decorate all your homes just in case you turn up?

Yes, my various butlers do it.

As for cooking – are you a baster or a prune on the sofa?

I don’t cook, I pay cooks. My mum always used to cook Christmas lunch, but then the numbers grew so big she could never relax and enjoy the day, so now I get someone to do it for us so Mum’s able to direct proceedings and have a great time.

Who buys the gifts, you or Celia?

We both do, though she is usually far more inventive.

What would you least like to find under your tree?

Lord Sugar. I’ve got enough Christmas gnomes.

What would you most like?

A Brexit deal would be perfect!

What would Celia’s fail-safe Christmas gift be for you?

She knows if all else fails I’ll never be disappointed by anything related to Arsenal, cricket or French wine.

Worst Chrimbo dinner guest?

Love Island contestants. You’d spend all your time explaining the Christmas cracker jokes.

And those on your wish list?

Cricketer Ben Stokes, footballer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Bradley Walsh and a few Victoria’s Secret models.

Will you see Susanna over Christmas?

God no, we treasure every second of our time away from each other.

Her ideal gift from you?

Silence.

Any bizarre standout presents?

My brother Rupert once gave me a pair of Y-fronts that weren’t wrapped and were neither my size, nor so big they were funny. It failed on every level.

Have you thought, ‘I’ve crossed a line?’ concerning your banter with Susanna?

I remember when she did some ageing thing that made her look 80, and I said ‘I still would’ and I genuinely thought Susanna was about to whack me.

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Merry Manflu Christmas!

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Have you ever fallen out?

Yes, but never for very long. We used to settle things by having all-night benders that ended in Soho gay bars.

Have you ever woken up after a Christmas party full of regret?

If I ever wake up after a Christmas party not full of regret, I consider the party bitterly disappointing!

What’s your highlight of 2019?

Interviewing President Trump in the Churchill War Rooms, his only TV interview in the world during his first UK state visit, was pretty cool.

In the Christmas spirit, will you ever forgive Meghan for ghosting you?

Not unless she gets [down] on bended knee and apologised. I don’t like bad manners and hers are shocking.

And your message to Woman’s Own readers who think of you as a hunk?

Grrrrrr! Form an orderly queue, ladies.

GMB is on ITV weekdays from 6.30am