CNN anchor Piers Morgan is not worried about the ruthless competition for exclusives and access to the upcoming royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton. In fact, the native Brit thinks he has a leg up on his American colleagues. “I think the accent will be a major weapon for me,” says Morgan. EW chatted with the host of Piers Morgan Tonight about the media frenzy surrounding the wedding, his plan for coverage, and the wedding’s cultural impact.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What’s your coverage plan?
PIERS MORGAN: The advantage that I have is that it’s obviously my hometown and I lived and worked in London for 25 years. I’ve also met and know quite well most of the royal family. I think it might be a homerun for CNN.
Can you put in this context? How big do you think this will be?
This will be the biggest superstar event of the year because the two biggest stars in the world right now are Prince William and Kate Middleton. You can just assess that by the sheer oxygen of publicity that they’re now beginning to get on American television, magazines, newspapers, and the same is happening all over the world. We haven’t had a huge royal wedding in a very long time and I think the whole world is excited by it. It’s just a moment of wonderful escapism.
As a former British newspaper editor, what do you think the UK press is going through over there? Is it hysteria?
It’s gonna be utterly ruthless on the day. Everyone’s trying to get the best vantage points and that’s where local knowledge will definitely come into play. I know London by the back of my hand. The whole country will stop. Thirty million people will watch British television that day and everyone will for a few hours escape into the ultimate soap opera which is the royal family.
How will your coverage differ from other news outlets?
I’m going to be playing very hard and very firmly on my connections to the royal family. I’ve got photographs at home with me and the entire royal family at various events. I had a memorable lunch once with just me, Diana, and Prince William. I’ve met the queen five times. I’ve met Charles about ten times. I know Camilla Parker Bowles well. I’m very friendly with her son. I have connections that most American anchors can only dream of.
Are you trying to land the post-wedding interview with Kate and William?
I’m certainly negotiating with the palace over that. Whether they do an interview post-wedding remains to be scene. They believe, and they’re probably right, that less is more. The Queen mother always had a wonderful phrase, “Never complain, never explain, and never be heard speaking in public.” I think the more mysterious the royals can be in this modern age, the better for their longevity, to be honest.
Do you think American interest is equal to British interest?
I think American interest if anything is bigger than anything in Britain. You don’t have a royal family here so I think all Americans love our royal family. It’s the same way we admire your presidency because we don’t have one either. I think there’s something very magical about the royals when they do a huge event. Americans are absolute suckers for royal weddings. I remember when Diana and Fergie [Sarah, Duchess of York] got married and you guys lapped it up. Every tiny second that you could squeeze out of it, you squeezed.
For more on the media frenzy around the royal wedding, check out this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly.