Entertainment & Arts

Piers Morgan answers Larry King's criticism of US show

Piers Morgan
Image caption More than 2m people tuned in to watch the first edition of Piers Morgan Tonight in January

Piers Morgan has responded to criticism from his predecessor, Larry King, that he is not "dangerous" enough on his much-hyped US talk show.

The former newspaper editor told The Times he would be "edgy and dangerous, but at the right moment and with the right guests".

Morgan invited King on his chat show after the TV veteran told BBC Radio 4 the 45-year-old had been "oversold" to US TV audiences.

More than 2m watched Morgan's US debut.

King told Radio 4's PM programme: "He's good but not that dangerous. I think they might have been better off starting quietly."

However, Morgan defended the show's promotional campaign to King saying: "We couldn't come in and undersell... I'm following a legend.

"I can't come in after Sinatra in Vegas and say, 'By the way, this is not going to be very good'."

Speaking to The Times, Morgan paid tribute to King, but added: "There was a certain irony [in] being lectured about being 'dangerous' by an interviewer widely acknowledged to be the least risky in the business."

He said while he had been tough on some guests, he would not start "bullying" Hollywood stars.

"It's not the best way to interview and it would mean we won't get the calibre of guests," he said.

After Morgan's first show in January, during which he interviewed chat show queen Oprah Winfrey, US critics had mixed reviews with some describing him as "fawning" and a "flatterer".

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