Tuesday, March 16
The blame game has been raging furiously since my sudden departure from Good Morning Britain. But the real culprit may be Dylan Jones, long-time editor of GQ magazine.
Three times, he’s given me awards. In 2003, I was GQ’s Newspaper Editor Of The Year for the Daily Mirror’s campaign against the Iraq War; in 2013, I was GQ’s TV Personality Of The Year for my campaign at CNN against America’s insane gun culture; and last December I got the same award, this time for my ‘unwavering interrogation of the Government’s woeful response to the pandemic’.
Given that I’d lost both the Mirror and CNN jobs within a few weeks of winning the GQ awards, I told Dylan I was extremely wary of accepting again when he told me I’d won another one, but he persuaded me lightning never strikes three times.
‘Obviously, my first thought was “BOOM!”, I wrote in this diary about the news, ‘and my second thought was, “Oh no, I really enjoy doing Good Morning Britain.” ’
The rest is history.
The GQ curse has stuck again.
Wednesday, March 17
I’ve come top of a ‘Most Popular Beer-Goggles Pin-up’ poll, beating Jeremy Clarkson, Boris Johnson and Simon Cowell. It revealed that 39 per cent of British women said they don’t find me remotely attractive when sober but do when they’ve had a few drinks.
Initially, I was thrilled to win.
But the more I thought about this ‘victory’, the less complimentary it felt.
‘What nonsense,’ I spluttered indignantly to my wife Celia. ‘I can’t believe women only find me hot when they’re drunk.’
‘No, it’s true,’ she replied. ‘I’m one of them.’
Saturday, March 20
Most charities abandon scandal-hit celebrity supporters the moment the sh*t hits the fan, for fear of tarnishing their brand.
But cat adoption charity The Moggery is standing resolutely by me.
Founder Christine Bayka announced I would remain a patron ‘as he hasn’t stood on any kittens’ heads or anything like that’.
Sunday, March 28
My supremely virtuous former breakfast TV show rival Dan ‘Halo’ Walker said about me today: ‘Underneath all the froth, I think there is a decent bloke fighting to get out.’
Ironically, I’ve always thought that underneath all Dan’s faux saintly froth, there’s a nasty piece of work fighting to get out.
And the one thing guaranteed to have him stamping on kittens is the knowledge that GMB finally overtook BBC Breakfast in the ratings, on his watch, on my last day.
My supremely virtuous former breakfast TV show rival Dan ‘Halo’ Walker (above) said about me today: ‘Underneath all the froth, I think there is a decent bloke fighting to get out.’
‘For somebody who has gone on record saying they detest silver medals, five years in second place must hurt quite a bit,’ cocky Dan sneered to the Sunday Times in February.
It did, yes.
But fortunately, Mr Walker, your poodle-like simpering with Government Ministers single-handedly gifted me the gold medal and cured the pain!
Monday, March 29
Many famous friends have solicitously rallied around in my hour of jobless need, though some more self-interestedly than others.
‘You better not go quietly into the night,’ begged Jack Whitehall. ‘I need someone to make jokes about!’
Sir Michael Parkinson was keen to gastronomically exploit my newly freed-up schedule: ‘Looking forward to a lunch when we can trash “the woke generation” for doing you a favour.’
Holly Willoughby was more concerned about my blood pressure from all the GMB ranting.
‘Do you meditate?’ she asked.
‘No,’ I replied, ‘but I did drink a ginseng latte today if you’re trying to woke me up?’
‘You need more than that – do an online course to offset some of this anger!’
Holly then sent me a link to one that costs £249 for seven hours of meditation technique training live-broadcasted to my home which would include advice on ‘managing difficult situations’, ‘nailing interviews’ and ‘making hangovers less horrible’.
And I’d even get my own personal meditation sound to repeat softly in my head!
This would apparently all ensure I am ‘no longer ruled by my emotions’.
Problem is that I can’t imagine anything more boring than not being ruled by my emotions.
Tuesday, March 30
I’m 56 today, and due to Rule of Six being reintroduced, I was able to celebrate my second lockdown birthday with a lovely family barbecue in the garden, on the hottest March day since I was three, with all of my four children.
It was a lot more fun than the very quiet affair last year at the height of the first coronavirus wave, not least because Amanda Holden sent me a Hugh Hefner smoking jacket and sailing cap with a bunny girl outfit for Celia.
But it also served as a stark reminder of how grim things were on March 30, 2020, especially for my stupendously courageous and inspiring friend Kate Garraway.
I’m 56 today, and due to Rule of Six being reintroduced, I was able to celebrate my second lockdown birthday with a lovely family barbecue in the garden with all of my four children
That was the day her husband Derek was rushed to hospital with Covid, and he remains seriously ill.
I spoke to Kate at length when her incredibly powerful documentary about it all aired on ITV last week, and she told me she’s been reading Derek my book, Wake Up.
Never have I wished those words to be more prescient.
Thursday, April 1
The art of a good April Fool’s Day joke is that it has to be credible enough for even supposedly intelligent people to fall for it.
My parents once woke their four young children at 5am and told us to run outside and jump on a drain in the middle of our garden to stop a water leak engulfing the house.
Incredibly, that’s exactly what we all did, to Mum and Dad’s hysterical amusement.
Less amused was my late grandmother when I once called her in a fake Northern accent to say I was the police and we’d just arrested two of her grandsons for violent drunk and disorderly conduct on Brighton beach.
She promptly burst into tears and begged for us to be released.
Today, I decided to have some fun with the Archbishop of Canterbury’s revelation that he married Meghan and Harry on the day of their televised wedding, not in secret three days earlier as Duchess Delusional claimed to Oprah Winfrey.
(Presumably, he must now either apologise for disbelieving Meghan’s truth or lose his job – right?)
I tweeted: ‘UPDATE: Following the Archbishop of Canterbury’s confirmation that Meghan Markle was talking a load of old flannel in her Oprah interview, ITV just offered me my GMB job back & I’ve decided to accept. The nation’s prayers have been answered. See you Monday!’
I’ll spare the blushes of the gloriously large number of gullibles who fell for it, but they included a high-profile pandemic professor, a former Chancellor of the Exchequer, a TV news anchor, one of Britain’s most successful CEOs, five major stars, and two of my drain-bouncing siblings.