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Piers Morgan to join CNN with prime-time hour in Larry King slot

By Alan Duke, CNN
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Larry King welcomes Piers Morgan to CNN
  • Morgan "made his name posing tough questions to public figures," CNN-US chief says
  • Morgan says he has dreamed of "filling the legendary suspenders" of King
  • He has been a judge on "America's Got Talent" and "Britain's Got Talent"
  • Piers Morgan
  • Larry King
  • Media

(CNN) -- British TV host Piers Morgan will take over Larry King's prime-time hour with "a candid, in-depth newsmaker interview program" starting in January, CNN announced Wednesday.

Morgan, best known to American viewers as a judge on NBC's "America's Got Talent," has most recently hosted "Piers Morgan's Life Stories" on television in the United Kingdom.

"Piers has made his name posing tough questions to public figures, holding them accountable for their words and deeds," said CNN-US President Jon Klein. "He is able to look at all aspects of the news with style and humor with an occasional good laugh in the process."

Morgan's show, which was not named in the CNN news release, will air live on CNN-US at 9 p.m. ET and will air worldwide on CNN-International in more than 200 countries, the network said. Morgan will be based in New York, but also will work from Los Angeles and London, CNN said.

King announced this summer that he was stepping aside from CNN's "Larry King Live," a show he began hosting in 1985.

"I have watched 'Larry King Live' for much of the last 25 years, and dreamed of one day filling the legendary suspenders of the man I consider to be the greatest TV interviewer of them all," Morgan said.

Morgan, 45, began his journalism career as a newspaper reporter in the United Kingdom for The Wimbledon News. In 1994, when he was 28, Morgan became the youngest editor ever at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World. He moved to the Daily Mirror as editor-in-chief in 1995, a post he held for nine years.

He left the Mirror under a cloud of controversy in 2004, after the publication of photos purported to be of abused Iraqi prisoners. The newspaper later acknowledged the images were faked, saying it was the victim of a hoax.

Morgan went on to become a television personality, hosting interview programs on the BBC and ITV. Simon Cowell hired Morgan as on a judge on the top-rated "Britain's Got Talent."

His print journalism career continued beyond the Mirror, including a monthly interview column for GQ magazine.

Morgan also writes two regular columns for the Mail on Sunday newspaper, which he will continue. In addition, he will provide regular columns to, the network said.