Sunday 18 August 2019

Larry King criticises Piers Morgan's approach to CNN chat show

Piers Morgan's stint as a CNN chat show host has come under the critical eye of his predecessor Larry King
Piers Morgan's stint as a CNN chat show host has come under the critical eye of his predecessor Larry King

US chat show host Larry King has said Piers Morgan was his complete opposite and he made his show "all about him".

Morgan took over 81-year-old King's prime-time slot on CNN in 2011 but the chat show was cancelled three years later following plummeting ratings.

King said he watched "a few" of Morgan's shows but did not enjoy his interviewing style.

At an event hosted by broadcaster RT called An Evening With Larry King, the veteran TV star was asked why he thought Morgan was not as successful as he was.

He said: "My problem with Piers was, nothing personal, but he was the antithesis of what I was all about him.

"So he used the word 'I' a lot. So when I was asked, I'm honest, I was asked, I said 'look, I like him personally, but that's not my type of show'.

"I don't berate guests and I don't make it about me. The guest isn't a prop. I didn't enjoy that.

"And I would say that about any host who I felt didn't serve his audience well. And I think Piers did not do that. I didn't like that type of interview.

"I understand he's back in London now."

King's last comment about Morgan being back in the UK drew laughter from the crowd at the event held in the Institute of Contemporary Arts in central London.

King also claimed Morgan called him "an old goat".

Morgan's show launched in January 2011, but initial audiences of two million fell to around 270,000 and it was axed in March 2014.

Morgan's tenure on the CNN talk show was marked by his ardent criticism of America's stance on gun laws and his campaigning in favour of gun control, leading to high-profile clashes with opponents and hundreds of thousands of people signing a petition calling for him to be deported.

King, who presents Larry King Now and Politicking With Larry King on his digital network Ora TV, had the crowd chuckling on a number of occasions.

He said his "old friend" Donald Trump has an "incredible ego", adding: "His wife one night said, 'God it's cold', and he said 'Call me Donald'."

King frequently mentioned his "beautiful" wife Shawn Southwick, who was sitting near the front, and at one point made a joke about their age gap. "There is a difference in our ages," he said, adding: "I've got a boy 16 and a boy 15, without viagra. Those were the old days."

King went on: "When people see my wife and I together... the age difference, I know what they're thinking. They see me, they see her. I know what they're thinking. But I always say the same thing - if she dies, she dies."

The event marked 10 years on air for RT.

PA Media

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