In a face-off that is bound to feel awkward and uncomfortable, CNN’s Piers Morgan will interview his predecessor Larry King this week. The encounter comes on the heels of King’s statement last week that Morgan “may have been oversold” to American audiences. “He was going to be dangerous. He was going to be water cooler talk,” King told BBC Radio 4. “He’s good. He’s not that dangerous.”
In a statement, Morgan vaguely referenced the controversy. “I can’t think of many people I’d rather interview than Larry King, and I’m sure people will be fascinated by the dynamic between us, for obvious reasons,” he said.
Morgan was far snippier on Twitter. “May have to twang those suspenders to prove how dangerous I really am,” he wrote. And “Hope Larry remembers he has to sit on the right now.”
In an interview for BBC Radio 4 in his successor Piers Morgan’s native Britain, former CNN host said Morgan was a “fine” host but may have suffered from overhyping. “I think one of the problems (CNN) did was over sell it. He was going to be dangerous, he was going to be water cooler talk,” King said. “He’s good but not that dangerous. I think they might have been better off starting quietly and that’s not Piers’ fault, or maybe it is, I’m not inside anymore. He’s certainly not bad. He’s certainly an acceptable host. He asks good questions, maybe he interrupts a little too much at times. I think he may have been oversold.”
British talk show hosts seem to be hot commodity for cable news networks these days. As CNN is reportedly pursuing Piers Morgan to replace Larry King, MSNBC has lured Nightline co-anchor Martin Bashir to anchor his own daily afternoon show and a contribute to NBC’s primetime newsmagazine Dateline NBC. Bashir, who rose to fame in the US with his 2003 documentary Living with Michael Jackson, will make the network switch in September. Bashir became a regular on US television when he joined ABC’s newsmagazine 20/20 in 2004. He became a Nightline co-anchor a year later. On Nightline, he will be replaced by Bill Weir, co-anchor of the weekend edition of Good Morning America.