'Celebrity Apprentice' winner Piers Morgan could eat Trump alive
By April MacIntyre Apr 8, 2008, 19:03 GMT
03/22/2008 - Piers Morgan - © Tina Gill / PR Photos
Despite the fact the "Donald" has a reputation for not suffering any fools, and excoriating those around him who aren't up to snuff, he has met his match with ex newspaper editor, Piers Morgan, who has been sitting in judgment on the "X Factor" and other reality talent shows before winning Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice."
The New York Post notes that "Celebrity Apprentice" finalist Piers Morgan, back in the day - "would probably have skinned Donald Trump alive, splashing the billionaire's dirty laundry and bragging style across the pages of the London tabloid The Mirror."
The show finale saw Piers Morgan defeat country singer Trace Adkins.
NBC scored a ratings boon with its best adults 18-49 numbers in six months - and its most viewers, for a non-sports event, since Nov. 2006.
Thursday night's finale featured appearances from Sharon Osbourne (via phone) and Andrew Lloyd Webber - and from the arch villain, Omarosa, who tangled with Morgan all season.
Another big winner in Thursday night's finale was the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, the charity for which Morgan championed on "Celebrity Apprentice."
Morgan was awarded a $250,000 check for the fund, which the public can still support through a charity auction on NBC's Web site (nbc.com/auctions) through April 3.
The fund helps wounded vets and their families. Fallenheroesfund.org has more info.
"I think the boot's on the other foot," laughs Morgan. "I think Mr. Trump is quite enjoying giving me a beating."
Morgan, for 12 years, was one of the most powerful newspaper editors in the vicious world of London's storied Fleet Street tabloids, first for the Murdoch-owned News of the World and then for The Mirror.
He was fired in 2004 after overseeing the publication of what turned out to be faked photographs of Iraqi prisoners supposedly being abused by British troops.
"I'm used to being the boss," he told the Post. "I'm used to being omnipotent and it has been hard to go into an environment where I'm not in charge. At least part of my irritation [on the show] is that I'm not used to working with people that are so mediocre."
Morgan says that he has a lot of respect for Trump as a businessman, and has treated him as such during his time on "Apprentice."
"Mr. Trump likes sparring," he says. "I've always shown him respect and always argued my corner without being rude or offensive to him."
Morgan caught a break came when Simon Cowell hired him as a judge on the "X Factor" and "America's Got Talent," where he has sharpened his skills as the Simon-like critic of jugglers, street dancers and ventriloquists.