Piers Morgan is taking over Larry King's CNN time slot on January 17, and he and our Nancy O'Dell are sharing what it feels like to replace a legend. He also divulges which celebrities he'd love to host on his show.
"The irony has not escaped me in asking you this question, but what does it feel like to be [filling a] TV legend's shoes, so to speak," Nancy asks Piers.
"You tell me!" Piers exclaims to Nancy, who will co-host ET after Mary Hart exits at the end of this season. "I think I'll probably feel like you do," Piers continues. "When you're replacing somebody as iconic as Larry King, or Mary, it's a huge burden of responsibility. They build such a great legacy, on these shows, that you want to live up to that legacy. And that's what I feel, a sort of responsibility to carry on the great work that Larry's done for so long."
"I'm excited. I think I'm cautiously optimistic about how it's going to go," Piers says, adding, "In terms of the ability to shape opinion around the world, and to bring the real character of world leaders and big celebrities and politicians and so on, to that kind of audience, it's almost unparalleled. So I find that very exciting."
Piers says when he was in the running to get his new gig, he submitted an interview he did with Simon Cowell in which the notoriously critical former "American Idol" judge cried, and he tells Nancy, "Let's face it -- if I can make the hardest heart in the world weep, then I've got to have a chance. … I do have a particular style that I think the American public will find quite engaging. I like it to be entertaining, to be fun, lively. … A little bit, like I said in some of the promos, dangerous."
Who will be Piers' first big get? He's keeping his lips tightly zipped, but gives a few hints as to the type of celebrity he's looking to interview: "Any celebrity that's gone through a crisis is always a great interview. Mel Gibson right now would be fascinating. I want to know what he's thinking, what his life's like. ... Same with Lindsay Lohan." He also says he'd love to have Lady Gaga on the program because "she's hot."
He'd love to interview the royal couple, Prince William and his bride-to-be Kate Middleton. He recounts a story to Nancy where he shared an off-the-record lunch with the late Princess Diana and a 13-year-old William, and the young prince asked if he could have a glass of wine. Piers remembers, "I was like, hang on a second -- the future king of England wants to illegally drink alcohol in my presence and I can't write about it? This is like slow water torture."
Piers says, "William's a good lad. You know, I've known him from that age. He's grown up, I think, to be a remarkable young man, went through a terrible tragedy with his brother when we lost Diana … I think watching these boys now reach the stage where they're getting married, they're going to have their own families, and William, in his case, become king, [is] very exciting for Britain. I think they've re-energized the monarchy and I think America loves it. You know, I see them all over the media now and I'm thinking, 'This is great, the royals are back where they belong.'"
For more with Piers, tune in to ET tomorrow.