Piers Morgan

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Is this what they mean by Britain's Got Talent?

While Piers Morgan has denied stooping to phone hacking while serving as editor of the Daily Mirror, a prominent British TV personality claims Morgan told him 10 years ago how to hack into a mobile phone's voicemail—and said he was a fool not to secure his own phone against hackers.

"Right—that's the last time I'm inviting Jeremy Paxman to lunch. Ungrateful little wretch," Morgan tweeted today in response to Paxman's remarks to a media ethics inquiry.

The BBC presenter and journalist recalled a lunch he had with Morgan and TV personality Ulrika Jonsson at Canary Wharf, in which Morgan started teasing Jonsson about a phone conversation she had with famed soccer coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, even imitating their Swedish accents.

"I don't know if he was making this up, making up the conversation," Paxman told the panel. "But it was clearly something he was familiar with and I wasn't. I didn't know that this went on."

Then, he said, Morgan turned to him and asked, "Have you got a mobile phone?"

"I said yes," Paxman said, "and he asked if there was a security setting on the message bit of it. I didn't know what he was talking about. He then explained the way to get access to people's messages was to go to the factory default setting and press either 0000 or 1234 and that if you didn't put on your own code, his words, 'You're a fool.'"

"I have no reason...to believe it was going on," Morgan told the Leveson Inquiry, called after the News of the World closed to investigate allegations of widespread hacking at various tabloids, in December.

Neither Morgan nor his current employer, CNN, had any comment today.

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