THRILLED Piers Morgan last night likened his Sun-sational comeback to pal Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United.
Piers’ return to Britain’s No1 newspaper — where he first found fame — will see him writing no-holds-barred columns for us as well as the New York Post.
The 56-year-old presenter will also host a daily global TV show as part of a huge ground-breaking deal with The Sun’s parent company News Corporation.
He will front crime documentaries and write books for HarperCollins UK.
Piers says he hopes to be “as good a signing” as the Portuguese superstar — and compared ex-Man United boss Sir Alex Ferguson to Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman of News Corp.
The outspoken star said: “I’m very lucky that Cristiano is a friend of mine, and I’m sure I will hear from him soon.
“I knew Cristiano would go back to United because when I had dinner with him in Italy, he spoke so incredibly fondly about his relationship with Sir Alex, and United. And I could relate to that.
“When people take a gamble on you, like Sir Alex did with him, and Rupert did with me as I was starting out in my media career, you don’t forget that. It’s good to pay back that loyalty.
“I hope I will prove as good a signing. Obviously I don’t share his sporting talent but what Cristiano and I do have in common is a work ethic and drive. Neither of us settle for mediocrity.”
Welcoming her new star signing, Victoria Newton, Editor in Chief of The Sun, said: “Forget Ronaldo, this is the biggest comeback of the year.”
Within hours of a statement confirming the move yesterday, the News Corp share price had rocketed by a staggering $400million (£290million).
Piers’ new deal comes six months after he was forced out of ITV1 breakfast show Good Morning Britain for refusing to apologise to Meghan Markle on air.
He had previously called into question Meghan’s remarks about mental health during the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s controversial Oprah interview.
Piers added: “I’m delighted to be coming back to News Corp, 30 years after I first worked there.
“It’s a big move, and a hugely exciting one.
“News Corp is a company that believes in free speech, and doesn’t sign up to cancel culture or pander to the woke brigade.
“Everyone there has tough skins and won’t succumb to pressure from Twitter or anything else.
“The whole package was quite overwhelming and seemed pretty irresistible – and I think really is the first of its kind. It ticks every box of all the things I want to do.
“I want to make the most talked about show in television around the world.”
Piers’ new 60-minute show, featuring big name celebrities, politicians and guests, promises to be a “lively mix” of discussion, debate and popular opinion.
In the six years he was at Good Morning Britain, presenting alongside Susanna Reid, he helped treble the ITV programme’s ratings.
On the day he walked off set in March, GMB had overtaken bitter rival BBC Breakfast for the first time in the show’s history.
Ratings have steadily declined since his departure, with advertising revenue also down.
Supping ale at The Scarsdale Tavern in Kensington, West London, Piers admitted he turned down “about 20” job offers in order to sign this groundbreaking new role. Piers, who has a combined social media reach of almost 10million followers, has become one of the planet’s most in- demand broadcasters.
As well as a punchy weekly online column for this paper, former BGT judge Piers will join News Corp and Fox News Media to launch a weekly TV show airing in the UK, Australia and America, from early next year.
His signing will also see him front a series of true crime documentaries.
And it comes 36 hours after he was named TV Presenter of the Year at the annual TRIC awards. Following the success of his Sunday Times No1 bestseller, Wake Up, HarperCollins UK will publish Piers’ next book in hardback, audio and digital formats.
He first joined The Sun in 1988 and fronted the paper’s award-winning showbiz column Bizarre for four years.
As editor of the News of the World he scooped top awards and revealed huge exclusives.
Piers later became a hit as a BGT judge, helping to launch the career of singer Susan Boyle.
Ex-US President Donald Trump repeatedly heaped praise on Piers for winning tasks and raising cash when they starred on the US version of The Apprentice.
And Piers’ Life Stories, his series of celebrity interviews for ITV, was a massive success.
Mr Murdoch said yesterday: “Piers is the broadcaster every channel wants but is too afraid to hire. He is a brilliant presenter, a talented journalist and says what people are thinking and feeling.
“He has many passionate fans around the world and we look forward to expanding his audience.”
JOURNEY FROM SUN AND BACK
1989: PIERS becomes editor of The Sun’s Bizarre column, quizzing stars including Madonna.
1994: Appointed editor of The News of The World. Aged 28, he is the youngest national newspaper editor for 50 years.
1995: Becomes editor of the Daily Mirror.
2004: Launches a TV career. Series on the BBC and Channel 4 follow.
2006: Becomes a judge on America’s Got Talent, kickstarting his US career.
2007: Joins Britain’s Got Talent alongside Simon Cowell and Amanda Holden.
2008: Wins US celeb version of The Apprentice. Pals with host and future president Donald Trump.
2009: Piers Morgan’s Life Stories interview show launched on ITV.
2010: Joins Twitter. Now has eight million followers.
2011: Replaces veteran Larry King on CNN’s flagship nightly talk show.
2015: Joins ITV show Good Morning Britain. Becomes a full-time host amid big rise in viewers.
2019: Piers criticises Prince Harry and wife Meghan over their exit from Royal family.
2020: Wins plaudits for his grilling of cabinet ministers over their handling of the pandemic.
2021: Piers leaves GMB over comments about Meghan and Harry’s US interview with Oprah Winfrey. Watchdog Ofcom clears him. Returns to The Sun and hosts global TV show.