x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Larry King weighs in on Piers Morgan

A case of sour grapes between King and Morgan?

The tabloid newspaper editor turned TV host Piers Morgan seems to have incurred the sour grapes of his predecessor, the CNN interviewer Larry King.

Morgan's heavily billed new show has seen its ratings slump by 75 per cent since first airing on January 17. And now the erstwhile host has put the boot in.

"One of the problems they did was to oversell it," King told the BBC. "They said he was going to be dangerous, he was going to be water-cooler talk. It was 'wait till you see me, I'm different.'

"Well, he's good - but he's not that dangerous."

Morgan took over the flagship show after 25 years of King at the helm. But King seems not to rate his replacement highly.

"I don't want to be horrible about him - I think he's a fine broadcaster," King said, showing a nice line in damning by faint praise.

Morgan has a colourful past. He was fired as editor of the tabloid Daily Mirror after publishing a series of photographs said to show British troops mistreating Iraqi prisoners of war. The photos were later exposed to be fakes.

King, at least on the face of it, was at pains not to be too unkind. "I like him," he said. "I've met him a few times."

Morgan made his debut in January with Oprah Winfrey as his first guest, but attracted mixed reviews. King said: "He's certainly an acceptable host. He asks good questions, maybe he interrupts a little too much at times."