Talking Point: Piers' tear-jerking talent

29 October 2009


How on earth does chat show host Piers Morgan dissolve every celeb he interviews to tears? Does he hide an onion under the hot seat? Pump tear gas into the studio? Or is it that Burger King cologne he wears, which makes their eyes water so badly?
Because to all extents and purposes, his interview skills aren’t that astounding… But he even reduced ice queen Jordan to tears and, when interviewing Katherine Jenkins last weekend, got her to open up about a near-sexual assault that happened in her teens (cue the waterfall). Oh, and then there was Cilla, who welled up talking about the death of her premature baby, 34 years ago. How does Piers do it?

This Saturday’s Life Stories will feature Dannii Minogue. And, surprise surprise, the X Factor judge cries, talking about the moment she heard Kylie had cancer. 'All I wanted to do was get inside the door of the family home and see my gorgeous sister and hug her,’ she said. ‘And it was like trying to get through all of these barriers [because of the fans and paparazzi]. It took a long while to understand all of that was there because everybody loves Kylie and they just wanted to know, "Is she OK?" But as a family member…it made everything more difficult.'

katherine jenkins katie price cilla black

Is there a clause in the Life Stories contract that says guests must eek out 2ml of tears per 60 minute interview? Or does Piers just, purposefully, hit a raw nerve. It doesn’t take a genius to realise mentioning a celeb's cancer-stricken sister will spark an emotional response. And tears = ratings. It’s not rocket science. Plus, Piers isn’t afraid to strike below the belt. And this is partly what makes him so successful (as a judge on Britain's and America’s Got Talent, would he be as entertaining if he sugar-coated his opinion?)

But where should he draw the line? Admittedly, we were quite surprised by how sympathetic we felt when Katie Price broke down during her appearance on the show, but there’s something a little uncomfortable about seeing Dannii so upset. We wonder if ITV have shares in Kleenex...

- Amy Molloy


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