After 16 years since the punching incident, The Good Morning Britain journalist Piers Morgan finally came face to face with Jeremy Clarkson of The Grand Tour. The two reunited after the journalist agreed to appear in Clarkson’s new quiz show Celebrity Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
This face-off comes 16 years after their infamous “punch up”, where Piers compared Jeremy Clarkson to Jack Nicholson’s character in The Shining who ended up being driven insane.
It all started back in 2004 at the British Press Awards when Clarkson struck Morgan in the head with his fist. The former newspaper publisher admitted, “he was wracked with nerves ahead of the WWTBAM episode.”
Morgan shared on this column for Mail on Sunday:
“He slouched into the green room with a massive smirk on his face. ‘Morgan, I can’t believe you agreed to do this!
“Nor can I,” I grimaced.
Well don’t worry” he grinned with the undisguised glee of a sadistic public executioner who gets a kick out of guillotining people, ‘now you’ve been dumb enough to say yes, I fully intend giving the British public exactly what it wants…”
“Clarkson then cackled like Jack Nicholson in The Shining, which suggested he imagined – probably correctly – that the British public would want nothing less than me suffering a catastrophic, career-ending humiliation.”
Clarkson, returning the favor to Morgan, warmly welcomed the journalist:
“Please welcome our first guest… who is a truly awful human being!”
The Grand Tour host even showed that he fractured his finger when he struck Morgan in the head, with Morgan saying that he had an altercation mark on his temple.
Morgan described the brawl as “two ego-crazed, rutting human stags, with a relationship laced in physical violence, finally clash on national television.”
The fight at the time was dubbed as “Rumble in the (tabloid) Jungle” and Morgan later reported that Clarkson had actually punched him three times.
Speaking at the Play to the Whistle presentation, he admitted it was three punches.
“He permanently scarred me above my temple because he had a ring on, but the good news was he broke his little finger hitting my head because I’m that hard…”
“I took his best three punches and then I said to him, ‘My three-year-old hits me harder than that’, which I thought was a good line.”
He proceeded further to insist that he didn’t hit Clarkson back in danger of hurting his position at the Mirror, saying:
“The reason I didn’t hit him was because I was at the British Press Awards and I thought I’d be fired.
“But I was fired three weeks later anyway so I kind of should have hit him,” he concluded.