Piers Morgan to succeed veteran CNN talk show host

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Former British journalist turned talent show judge Piers Morgan is to succeed veteran CNN talk show host Larry King, the news network announced Wednesday.

Confirming months of rumors, CNN said Morgan -- best known in the United States as host of "America's Got Talent" and in Britain for his celebrity interviews -- will take over King's chair from January.

"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 in a statement.

"He is able to look at all aspects of the news with style and humor with an occasional good laugh in the process."

King announced over the summer that he was hanging up his trademark suspenders (braces), 25 years after he launched his nightly talk show "Larry King Live" on the Atlanta-based cable network.

Morgan edited Britain's weekly News of the World and Daily Mirror tabloids, but he had to resign from the Mirror in 2004 after printing faked photos of British soldiers abusing Iraqi inmates.

He has since re-invented himself as an author, talent show host and as a celebrity pundit.

"I am thrilled to be joining CNN, and very much looking forward to bringing my own style of interviewing to the world's biggest, and best, TV news organization," said Morgan.

"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," he added.

The announcement comes as CNN, which made its global name reporting the first Gulf War, struggles to boost flagging ratings against TV rivals like the BBC and Fox News.

© 2010 AFP

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