Tuesday 11 December 2018

Piers Morgan calls Andrew Ridgeley insufferable after GMB interview

The Good Morning Britain presenter has been criticised for continually asking the former Wham! star about George Michael.

Piers Morgan interviewed Andrew Ridgeley (Matt Alexander/PA)
Piers Morgan interviewed Andrew Ridgeley (Matt Alexander/PA)

By Andrew Arthur, Press Association Entertainment Reporter

Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan has called Andrew Ridgeley an “insufferable dick” after the former Wham! member said he would prefer to talk about his charity work than his former bandmate George Michael during an awkward interview.

Morgan, 53, criticised Ridgeley, 55, after his appearance on the ITV programme, during which the former star shut down a line of questioning about his music career and Michael’s death in 2017.

Morgan wrote on Twitter: “Many thanks to Andrew Ridgeley for being such an insufferable dick today – much appreciated!”

Ridgeley repeatedly tried to change the subject of the conversation with Morgan and Susanna Reid back to a cycling challenge in Europe that he recently completed for charity.

When Morgan asked how he walked away from the music industry after Wham! split up Ridgeley replied briefly: “It was easy. It what was what I wanted. I was a little disenchanted with the industry. I had achieved my ambition. To be in a successful band.”

Morgan then asked Ridgeley for his thoughts on a story about his involvement in helping to write Michael’s 1984 hit single Careless Whisper.

Ridgeley indicated that he did not want to talk about his past career, saying: “There’s lots of myth around those sorts of things. We wouldn’t be the only ones to suffer from that, no. Recent events are more interesting.”

The host then switched subject to Micheal’s death on Christmas Day 2017 and asked Ridgeley how he was coping with the loss.

Ridgeley replied: “I imagine like anyone else, would imagine like anyone else does. There is a period of grief and it’s a difficult adjustment.

“The loss of a great friend is traumatic and emotionally tough. Almost as emotionally tough as the Dallaglio Cycle Slam.”

When asked by Morgan why he did not want to discuss his past Ridgeley said: “I wasn’t sure that was why I was here today to be honest with you.

“I much rather be discussing the Dallaglio Cycle Slam and its good work for people who haven’t had the privileges of you and I. I think that is rather more worthy subject matter.”

Morgan was criticised by former England ruby union international Austin Healey, who took part in the same challenge as Ridgeley.

Healey wrote: “Well done Piers Morgan, you managed to make the Dallaglio Cycle Slam all about you. Strange, I didn’t see you on the hills in the hail or your name on a donation page. Maybe as you’re wedged you can donate? If not your sentiment then your money?”

Morgan replied to Healey: “All about me? I tried to make it about a pop star who was able to raise money on the back of his fame with Wham!

“He chose to show his gratitude for the airtime – in which the charity was heavily promoted – by being a dick. And now you’re doing the same.”

Ridgeley later shared a clip from the interview on social media. In a message alongside the video he thanked the programme for having him on but did not mention Morgan.

He wrote: “I am grateful to Good Morning Britain for inviting me on today’s show to discuss the recent Dallaglio Cycle Slam fundraising event.

“It was a pleasure to speak with the charming Susanna Reid and Kate Garraway.”

The Dallaglio Cycle Slam is an 1,800km charity cycle event across five European countries.  It has raised more than £1,000,000 for teenagers outside mainstream education to get into and stay in employment.

Press Association

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