Sleeping with Tony Blair (Heather Mills nearby)

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13th November, 2008

“Half an hour after take-off, Blair was fast asleep, and I pondered on the absurdity of finding myself effectively going to bed two feet from the man who had played such a large part in my life as an editor for more than a decade.

When we landed, he shook my hand again. ‘It’s good to see you again, Piers.’

‘Likewise, Tony.’

And it had been, curiously.”

This article by Piers Morgan was quite amusing in its own, odd little way. A bit of a ‘guess what happened to me’ story, it was amusing to read his account of the Tony Blair/Heather Mills encounter that wasn’t.  And interesting to see how Mr Morgan seems to feel about these two well-known individuals he met in a restaurant at JFK airport. Once, that is, you get over the rather self-important fixation he has that that they both wanted to kill him.  Piers – you don’t count that much. Still, a fun article, and not one that Mail readers felt fired up enough to comment on. Always a good sign.

Piers Morgan – The Insider: Going to bed with Tony Blair and if looks could kill from Heather Mills

Mail Online, Thursday, October 23

Picture the scene. It was 9:45pm, and I’d just arrived in the luxurious British Airways Concorde lounge at New York’s JFK airport, exhausted after two days’ intensive filming on a TV project I’m not allowed to talk about yet.

I sat down for dinner in the small restaurant with one of my closest friends, a lawyer called Martin Cruddace who happened to be in town at the same time, and we ordered our meal.

The lounge was virtually empty, save for a few businessmen in suits dotted around.

Then Martin suddenly leaned forward with a huge grin on his face, and gasped, ‘Oh my God, it’s Tony bloody Blair!’

I turned slowly to where he was looking, and there, sitting just five yards away, was the former prime minister, accompanied by two assistants.

He was a little greyer than I remembered, but looking pretty fit.

Tony Blair gives speech at Yale's Graduation in New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

Tony Blair gives speech at Yale

Tony Blair is now a highly-paid lecturer in ‘faith and globalisation’ at the top American university

As we chuckled to ourselves about this bizarre coincidence, I noticed another familiar figure tottering into the lounge.

Heather Mills.

Or rather, the female British Airways special-services assistant was tottering under the weight of Heather’s five-year-old daughter Beatrice – while the woman herself marched on ahead grandly.

Then she glanced over and caught my eye. Ooooh, if looks could kill, she’d have decimated the entire Parachute Regiment with that icy, beady stare.

Martin and I exploded in simultaneous guffawing. As regular readers of this column will know, I wouldn’t exactly be top of either of their Christmas-card lists.

Five minutes later, the special-services lady went over to Blair’s table, and said loudly, ‘Excuse me, sir, but Heather would like to send her regards.’

Blair looked completely bemused, but thanked the lady anyway, and went back to his food.

Ten minutes on, Ms Mills strode back past Blair to the ladies’ room, wiggling her backside for all she was worth in a desperate, and fruitless, attempt to attract his attention.

On her return journey, she tried even harder, but still to no avail.

But our Heather is nothing if not a fighter, and after ten more minutes had elapsed, she was back again, performing another fly-by right past Blair on her way to the bar.

Still, he completely ignored her.

I caught the eye of Blair’s bodyguard, sitting at a nearby table.

‘You couldn’t make this up, could you?’ I said. And he laughed.

Heather pulled out all the stops on her second return leg, slithering within inches of Blair’s seat.

But she got nothing for her trouble – not even a raised ex-prime-ministerial eyebrow.

This was one of the great blankings of our time, and I was loving it.

When boarding started, Blair and his entourage went first.

Then Heather came by, this time visibly struggling to carry her own child, and making very sure I noticed her heroism.

Though she wasn’t quite as heroic as the poor bloke with her, who was left ten yards behind to push the buggy.

I got on the plane, assuming we’d all be crammed into the tiny first-class cabin together, in what was a recipe for the biggest uproar since Naomi Campbell found her bags had gone missing.

But there was no sign of Heather.

Blair, though, was in the seat next to me. Well, actually, I was in 1K and he was in 2A. So technically, I’d got a better one.

We turned to each other. There was a slightly uncomfortable silence, then Blair stuck out his hand and said, ‘Piers, of all the places… how are you?’

‘I’m very well, thanks, Tony. That was funny with Heather.’

‘Who?’

‘Heather Mills, Paul McCartney’s ex. She kept trying to get your attention in the lounge.’

He frowned.

‘Was she the blonde or the redhead?’

‘She was the fake blonde with one leg…’

He smiled in that frozen way he used to smile when a journalist asked him something unspeakable in a press conference.

‘…and she wants to kill me even more than you do.’

‘I don’t want to kill you, Piers.’

‘What are you doing in New York?’

‘I’ve been making a speech at Yale.’

Ah, yes – he is now, amusingly, a highly paid lecturer in ‘faith and globalisation’ at the famous American university.

‘I travel all the time at the moment – I’m hardly ever in Britain,’ he said.

‘Don’t you get jet lag?’

‘No, never have. I’m lucky. What do you think of the George Osborne story?’

‘I think he’s in big trouble. They’ve all been exposed as lightweights on this financial stuff, while Gordon’s like a pig in a sty with it.’

‘I know – it’s amazing, isn’t it? Everything’s changed.’

‘Indeed… even Peter’s back.’

That frozen, suspicious smile again. ‘Yessss.’

‘Actually, I thought that was a smart move – let all the papers lay into Mandelson instead of Gordon. Just what the doctor ordered! And talking of which, I had a doctor treat me in LA three weeks ago who said he treated you there the week before…’

Blair nodded.

‘Yes, I had a nasty bug. He was very good.’

‘He told me you sent him a very nice letter afterwards and that you were “very impressive”.

‘I said you were always good with the letters; it was just the wars that weren’t your strong point…’

Blair laughed, and not even in a frozen way. He was relaxed in my presence now, just how he used to be before we all fell out.

‘Are you enjoying your new life?’ I asked.

‘Yes, though it’s very different to my old job, obviously,’ he replied. ‘How about you?’

‘Well, judging piano-playing pigs with David Hasselhoff is a bit different to my old job, too.’

After 20 minutes or so, we prepared for take-off.

I asked a steward where Heather was.

‘She’s in business class, sir.’

‘Thank God for that – she wants to kill me.’

‘We know, sir – that’s why she’s back there.’

I then noticed there were still three empty seats in first class. But Blair’s bodyguard reappeared with an even bigger grin than before – he’d been upgraded.

Martin texted me: ‘I’m sitting next to Heather. She’s not happy.’

Half an hour after take-off, Blair was fast asleep, and I pondered on the absurdity of finding myself effectively going to bed two feet from the man who had played such a large part in my life as an editor for more than a decade.

When we landed, he shook my hand again. ‘It’s good to see you again, Piers.’

‘Likewise, Tony.’

And it had been, curiously.

I followed him off the plane and headed with him through what I thought was the exit door to customs.

A firm hand stopped me in my tracks.

‘Sorry, Mr Morgan,’ said a burly security man. ‘That is the VIP exit. Maybe next month…’

And several passengers around me chortled with delight.

The last laugh, as usual, was on me.




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