When Piers Met

Saturday, 9 April 2011, 9:10PM – 10:10PM

With his awe-inspiring music, Andrew Lloyd Webber is one of the most successful composers ever and has written some of the biggest theatre shows in the world. 

This unique, access-all-areas film takes Piers to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Mediterranean hideaway and then back to the West End as he finds out what it’s like to be married to the genius and what it’s like to work for him. 

“Lord Lloyd Webber is many things, but national treasure isn’t one of them,” says Piers: “and I want to know why.” 

With unprecedented access and no subject off limits, Piers delves deep and asks Lord Webber about his affair with singer Sarah Brightman. 

Plus, the composer also reveals how he’s come to terms with living with cancer. 

Including interviews with his wife, daughter, brother and friends Graham Norton, Arlene Phillips and Michael Ball, the documentary gets beneath the skin of Lord Lloyd Webber and reveals a side to him that’s never been seen before. 

As he welcomes Piers to his picturesque rustic villa in the hill tops of Majorca, he serves him coffee and talks about his short attention span. He shows Piers around and the pair chat about all the great hits he has produced, and the one that surprised the world – Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini. 

Piers also asks Lord Lloyd Webber about his appearance and what he thinks about the hurtful criticism he has received about the way he looks. 

Despite having millions in the bank, as Lord Lloyd Webber takes Piers to the local grocery shop to buy their dinner, he reveals that when he flies to Majorca he often uses budget airlines. 

As the pair get to know each other, Piers questions Lord Lloyd Webber about his love-life and he opens up about his affair with singer Sarah Brightman. 

In 1991, the composer married his current wife Madeleine and, as Lord Lloyd Webber prepares dinner, Piers speaks to her about living with him and wonders if he’ll pluck up the courage to ask her if Sarah Brightman’s famous quote about his manhood is true? 

As their stay in Majorca comes to an end Piers plans to meet with Lord Lloyd Webber again in London. 

He says: “I want to get to the nitty gritty, I want to know what really makes this guy tick because you don’t make a billion dollars as the world’s most successful composer by being a shrinking violet.” 

As the pair meet in the UK, Lord Lloyd Webber takes Piers to visit a church which always fascinated him when he was growing up. They talk about Lord Lloyd Webber’s childhood in London and he reveals that he won a scholarship at Oxford but quit after a few months to write musicals. 

And Lord Lloyd Webber takes Piers to the theatre as he gears up for his next spectacular production. 

When Piers Met Andrew Lloyd Webber is produced and directed by Mike Reilly. The executive producers are Clive Tulloh and Deborah Sargeant.

Saturday, 26 September 2009, 9:15PM – 10:15PM

Sir Cliff Richard allows TV cameras into his Caribbean home and grants Piers Morgan an exclusive in depth interview marking his 50th year in showbusiness.

From Cliff’s multi million pound beach front property he talks to Piers about his inspirations and what motivates him.

It’s 25 years since Piers, then working on his local newspaper, first interviewed Cliff on one of his first assignments as a rookie reporter.

Cliff is one of the most successful recording artists in the world with an exemplary career that spans six decades. He has had top ten hits in each of those decades and has scored fourteen Number One singles in the UK. As a performer, Cliff Richard has scored the most top 10 hits on the UK singles charts (70), the most top 20 hits (97) and the most top 40 hits (125).

Cliff came from humble beginnings and moved from India to England in the 1940s but now, as one of the richest men in pop, he has homes in Barbados, England and New York and a vineyard in Portugal.

He bought a plot of land in Barbados eight years ago and built a six bedroom hilltop treat complete with infinity pool and tennis court. Among those who have visited the impressive house are Tony and Cherie Blair and Michael Flatley.

Cliff says: “It’s my own personal little piece of paradise.”

In the documentary Piers is given a guided tour of the property by Cliff and plays tennis with the pop star.

Family, colleagues and friends of Cliff including Cilla Black, Bruce Forsyth, Arlene Philips, Olivia Newton-John, Louis Walsh, Myleene Klass and Sir Cliff’s sisters Joan and Jacqui, also talk about their experiences of the star.

Choreographer Arlene Phillips recalls: “He was the hippest, the hottest, he was like, you know, a Justin Timberlake. You just thought that he was the most beautiful thing that had ever been created.”

Cliff’s neighbour and close friend Cilla Black says: “He is a sex symbol even today.”

Cliff jokes to Piers about being 50 but he is actually 69.

Piers tells him: “My problem with you is that I’m 43 and you are, unbelievably, 69 years old. And right now the viewers are going ‘who’s 69? Who’s 43?’…And even more sickeningly, it all seems to me quite natural.”

Cliff says: “It’s as natural as it can be. I’ve got TV make-up on of course. The surgery might come a little later.

“I mean I’ve tried Botox and it didn’t work for me actually. And I’ve got friends who say ‘you should try it again’ I say ‘no I’ve done it four or five times and it made my eyebrows drop.’”

Cliff also says he is vain.

“How am I supposed to walk out? Particularly as I get older, I’m thinking I can’t live up to what everyone expects. I look in the mirror and I think terrible. But you know vanity is a necessity. You want to look right and also I don’t see how we can afford to go shopping in our gardening clothes any more.

“You know, Britney Spears and others like her, who are good looking people, somehow the paparazzi will get a picture of her wearing absolutely the wrong clothes… I like to be in Armarni I like to be in Thierry Mugler stuff – if that’s vanity then I’m vain. But I’ve always thought of vanity as being ‘how fabulous I am’ and I haven’t thought that for years.

“It’s only when I look back at old pictures of myself that I realise I had something going for myself, even just physically. I could realise why I did get started what I can’t understand is how I survived beyond everybody else.”

Cliff also talks to Piers about being a Christian. He was voted the most famous Christian of all in a poll.

“Apparently I was a better known Christian than Mother Theresa…and I beat Jesus once but then Jesus hadn’t had a record for a while.”

Piers comments: “But to be actually voted a more famous Christian than Jesus Christ is a little weird, Cliff.”

He comments: “It’s not just weird it’s impossible to deal with. So all those kind of things I’ve found a great stress factor in my life.”

“When people try to understand what you are as a Christian they make the mistake of thinking oh they’re a bunch of goody two-shoes.”

When Piers asks him to reveal the best song he’s ever sung, Cliff puts Devil Woman at the top of his list.

Says Cliff’s former backing singer Myleene Klass: “The songs, immediately you can’t deny it, they’re brilliantly written and he’s just an incredible performer.”

X Factor judge Louis Walsh adds: “Carrie, Wired for Sound, We Don’t Talk Any More, they’re brilliant, brilliant pop records.”

Back in the UK Piers also surprises Cliff with a trip on a Routemaster double decker bus – like the one he drove in his hit film Summer Holiday – and they take a trip down memory lane with a visit to Cliff’s old childhood home in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire.

The pair visit the council house he shared with his mum, dad and sisters almost 50 years ago and he recalls practising songs in the mirror and sharing a room with his three sisters before getting a tiny box room of his own. It’s also the house where The Shadows auditioned.

As Cliff reminisces about his career with The Shadows and the early auditions in his Hertfordshire home he talks about being reunited with the band for a new tour.

Cliff says: “I have (had) a number one in five decades. It would be great to have a sixth decade. Of course I want six. And then when I’ve got that I’m going to want the seventh.”

When Piers met Sir Cliff is a Spun Gold Television production for ITV1. The executive producers are Nick Bullen and Matt Young and the producer director is Colin Lennox.

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