Piers Morgan plays a straight bat at Leveson phone-hacking inquiry – but could someone have a disabling googly up their sleeve?

Usually voluble and gossipy former tabloid editor (and cricket fan) Piers Morgan was patting back questions from the Leveson inquiry into UK media ethics with the straightest of straight bats today.

No I didn’t know about phone hacking (he clearly did as did just about everybody else in Fleet Street, they just didn’t think it was important) and I can’t tell you where I got the Paul McCartney/Heather Mills voicemail conversation from from because ‘I’m protecting a source.’

Morgan, who now hosts CNN’s flagship interview programme in succession to Larry King, has been clearly talking to a lawyer or 12 and you can’t really blame him. After re-inventing himself as a TV star after being fired from the Daily Mirror for printing fake photographs of British troops behaving badly in Iraq (there were plenty of real photographs showing exactly that) it’s hardly likely that he’ll invite more career-threatening ordure from his time in the Street of Shame.

But Morgan is a big name these days, and a big catch for the serried ranks of Leveson barristers trying to make a name for themselves. They probably also don’t take very kindly to Morgan treating them like jumped-up interns.

So they’ll be back, no doubt, with some trickier questions: the equivalent of one of Morgan’s heroes, Aussie leg spin wizard Shane Warne, and his demon deliveries.

Which would be tough on Morgan, who was by means the worst of the arrogant tabloid gang of the 2000s. Will his new bosses at CNN stick by him if the going gets really tough?

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.