Piers Morgan has said he has “never told anybody to hack a phone” amid an ongoing court case over alleged unlawful information gathering at the Daily Mirror.
The Duke of Sussex and other high-profile figures have brought claims of phone hacking against the titles of Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) in a seven-week trial which began on Wednesday.
Journalist and broadcaster Morgan, who was editor of the Daily Mirror between 1995 and 2004, told BBC Two’s Amol Rajan Interviews: “I think phone hacking is completely wrong and shouldn’t have been happening and it was lazy journalists being lazy.
He added: “There’s no evidence I knew anything about any of this… I never told anybody to hack a phone.”
When asked about being seen as a hands-on editor, Morgan said: “I didn’t (know about hacking). So I don’t care whether it stretches people’s credulity or not.”
The 58-year-old former Good Morning Britain (GMB) presenter did admit he enjoys stirring up controversy and liked when his views were seen globally.
Morgan said: “I don’t think (I’m) a narcissist. Well, I think, maybe a little bit. Maybe.
“Certainly, I’ve got a healthy ego, maybe it occasionally strays into narcissism.
“Do I love stirring up controversy and being at the centre of a debate? Yes.
“Do I like trending worldwide over my opinions? Absolutely.
“Do I like winding up the type of people that I would travel continents to avoid? Yes.”
Morgan also stated he was not sexist, transphobic or racist, adding he was “a centrist, slightly veering to the liberal left”.
He added: “Who’s starting the culture war? I don’t mind admitting I’m involved in it, and I’m waging it because I think I’m defending the rights of what I would call common sense and reality and real fairness and real equality.”
During the GMB segment, Morgan said he did not believe Meghan’s claims from the headline-making interview, with his comments sparking more than 50,000 complaints – the most in Ofcom’s history.
Morgan said: “The idea that this was motivated, certainly in my case, by any personal animosity to Meghan Markle is completely untrue. I didn’t have any. I mean I quite liked her.”
The watchdog later ruled ITV’s morning programme was not in breach of the broadcasting code over Morgan’s comments.
Watch Piers Morgan: Amol Rajan Interviews on BBC iPlayer tonight and on BBC Two tomorrow at 7pm.