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Controversial British TV Host Piers Morgan Will Soon Have A Show On Fox


The provocative TV host Piers Morgan is returning to Rupert Murdoch's media empire. In the U.S., Morgan will host a primetime show on the right-wing streaming service Fox Nation, and he'll write columns for the New York Post. He'll also appear in Murdoch's U.K. and Australian outlets. As NPR's David Folkenflik reports, it's yet one more reinvention for Morgan, whose career has been marked by success, excess and controversy.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, BYLINE: Piers Morgan's show will run on the Murdoch's new British digital streaming service called TalkTV and on Sky News Australia. His columns will also appear in the British tabloid The Sun. And Murdoch's HarperCollins will publish his next book. That's where Morgan got his start - in the U.K. as a gossip columnist for The Sun, always marking himself as the equal of the celebrities he partied with, covered and disparaged. At the News of the World, Murdoch rebuked Morgan for running photos of a relative of Princess Diana at a rehab clinic.

Morgan soon moved on to edit the rival liberal tabloid The Mirror, but resigned after a pair of ethical scandals. Morgan then demonstrated a spark on TV as a celebrity interviewer and also as a judge on "Britain's Got Talent." An unknown and unglamorous 47-year-old Scottish singer named Susan Boyle became a global phenomenon.


SUSAN BOYLE: (Singing) I dreamed a dream in time gone by.


FOLKENFLIK: Her success was affirmed by a clearly moved Morgan.


PIERS MORGAN: No one is laughing now. That was stunning, an incredible performance.


FOLKENFLIK: Morgan became a host on "America's Got Talent," too. And CNN tapped him to replace Larry King. Morgan proved alternatively skillful, diffident and provocative, and he alienated some American viewers with strong stances.


MORGAN: And yet these guys come on my show and they keep saying that if you have more guns, there is less crime. And it's a complete fantasy.

FOLKENFLIK: That may prove a tough fit for Fox Nation. After a few years, Morgan left for the U.K. once more, where he has been a staple of morning television. Morgan had praised the future Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, after meeting her for drinks, later souring on her when she kept her distance after marrying Britain's Prince Harry. Earlier this year, Markle registered a formal complaint with the ITV network when Morgan declared he didn't believe Markle's disclosure about her struggle with depression over past media coverage. Morgan stormed off the set of his show when his ITV colleague Alex Beresford rebuked him.


ALEX BERESFORD: Has she said anything about you since she cut you off? I don't think she has, but yet you continue to trash her.

MORGAN: OK, I'm done with this.

BERESFORD: No, no, no.

MORGAN: Sorry, no. Sorry.

BERESFORD: Do you know what? That's pathetic.

MORGAN: You can trash me, mate...

FOLKENFLIK: Morgan was out of his job hours later. Among those outlets that gleefully reported on Morgan's meltdown, Murdoch's British tabloid, The Sun - Morgan's home once more.

David Folkenflik, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

David Folkenflik was described by Geraldo Rivera of Fox News as "a really weak-kneed, backstabbing, sweaty-palmed reporter." Others have been kinder. The Columbia Journalism Review, for example, once gave him a "laurel" for reporting that immediately led the U.S. military to institute safety measures for journalists in Baghdad.