Just in time for the start of summer (because everyone needs a little ray of sunshine in their lives, right?) the egocentric, “woke mob”-baiting, Meghan Markle-hating, free speech bull****tery-peddling personality that is Piers Morgan is making a return to our screens – or those screens owned by people who care enough about him and his views to sit down and watch new channel Talk TV when it launches tomorrow.

Maybe I’m being unfair. Anyone who can ride Donald Trump so hard he walks out of an interview has to be worth a certain amount of respect, and that seems to be what happened in Morgan’s sit-down with the oddly-coiffed golf cheat.

Due to air at 8pm tomorrow, it will kick off Piers Morgan Uncensored, his new chat show and his first proper job in television since he himself stormed off an ITV set last March after a row with Good Morning Britain colleague Alex Beresford. At issue then was Morgan’s comments about one of his favourite targets, Meghan Markle, aka the Duchess of Something, aka Prince Harry’s wife, aka a bi-racial American woman who had the temerity to marry into The Firm and shake things up a tad.

Hang on, though – did Trump actually throw his rattle out of the pram and storm off the set of the pre-recorded, 75 minute interview? All we have to go on as far as Rattlegate is concerned is a stinger trailer released by Talk TV which appears to show something along those lines. It’s not as if Boris Johnson has stood up in Parliament and attested to the fact, in which case it would undoubtedly be true. It’s not as if the Honourable Member for the 18th Century, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has flown to Balmoral to swear to its veracity in front of the Queen, as he did when he told her the government only wanted to shut down Parliament for five weeks so they could install a soft play area for Syrian refugees and really Ma’am it has nothing at all to do with losing a Brexit vote.

Certainly the pair do spar during the interview. Yes, Morgan takes issue with Trump’s claim that the 2020 US Presidential election was rigged, to which Trump replies: “Only a fool would think that”. Yes, a headline in Wednesday’s Sun read “Grumpy Trumpy”. But audio released by Trump’s people suggest (they say) that the interview ended amicably and that there has been some jiggery-pokery in the editing suite.

“Piers Morgan, like the rest of the fake news media, attempted to unlawfully and deceptively edit his long and tedious interview,” Trump said in a statement. “He wanted to make it look like I walked out on the interview when my time limit of 20 minutes went over by an hour. The interview was very strong on the 2020 election fraud, with me calling him ‘a fool’ if he truly believed those results.”

Meanwhile Trump’s spokesperson, Taylor Budowich, said “This is a pathetic attempt to use President Trump as a way to revive the career of a failed television host”. (Doesn’t he realise that works just as well the other way round, with Morgan as the potential reviver of the former Apprentice host’s now fading career?)

Either way, Morgan hit back. “He says it’s a rigged election, and he now says I have a rigged promo,” he told Lorraine Kelly on Thursday, in between calling Alex Beresford an idiot and pretending to storm off set again. “What I would say is watch the interview,” he continued. “It will all be there. We won’t be doing any duplicitous editing.”

Perhaps, as with all things to do with the preposterous old blaggard – Trump, not Morgan. He’s only 57 – truthiness is more a matter of interpretation than fact and trash-talking is all part of the act. I’m reminded a bit of being nine and watching a World Of Sport bout between 1970s wrestlers Kendo Nagasaki and rival Giant Haystacks: Kendo wasn’t Japanese, Haystacks wasn’t a haystack and the Elbow Drops, Powerslams and Two Handed Beard Holds were all pretty tightly choreographed. In other words it was a sham, a mock battle.

Then again, perhaps Trump is right and the whole thing really is a publicity stunt, and a few seconds of interview have been cleverly edited to give the illusion of a walkout. Who do you believe, the man who claimed he won the US Presidential election when obviously he didn’t and who once said the noise from windmills gives you cancer? Or the man who compares himself to Nelson Mandela when in fact he’s just a chat show host who was sacked from the Daily Mirror for publishing fake photographs and whose other main claim to fame is having been punched by Jeremy Clarkson? Exactly.

Did I say Mandela? I did. Taking a typically understated approach to promoting Brand Piers, Morgan has compared himself to the South African politician and anti-apartheid campaigner – though unless he has a Nobel Peace Prize win he has kept quiet about, or has become leader of his country without most of us noticing (could happen, I suppose, so degraded is our democracy), or he has a lock-up somewhere crammed with brightly-coloured shirts, then I struggle to catch hold of the comparison. But hey, Piers, if you see the Big Man staring back at you from your dressing room mirror then who am I to gainsay you?

The interview took place Stateside, in the bar of the Mar-a-Lago resort and with a portrait of Trump himself hanging in camera shot. The bulk of Piers Morgan Uncensored, however, will be filmed in a specially-designed studio in the UK which allows for 360 degree camera angles and has a glitzy LED archway. The advance publicity tells us said archway is a first for British TV, though there’s probably a reason for that: like maybe everyone’s thought of doing it but it’s too stupid. Or you can’t get replacement bulbs now all the hardware shops have been turned into nail bars. Or actually nobody has thought of doing it – because it’s too stupid.

Gosh, I’m now quite excited about seeing the LED archway, which wasn’t the case at the start of that paragraph. Funny, isn’t it, how you can persuade yourself of something just by typing it?

Morgan is living proof of that, by the way, live tweeting opinions he may or may not fully believe but which will generate outrage or headlines, or cultivating online spats in order to add to the white noise around him. Where there is white noise there are potential viewers, you see, and where there are viewers there are pound signs.

Putting such mercenary concerns aside, he says his aim for the new show is to take on cancel culture and re-platform those who have been de-platformed on account of their views. He will attack what he calls “the woke mob” because, in his own words, “free speech is a hill worth dying on”. Fair enough. But behind every self-styled free speech champion claiming their cherished liberties are in danger is a dark actor with a social media account seeking to normalise hate speech, demean minorities or push a political agenda which does both. But what is free speech anyway? And how does someone who thinks they know its limits – Morgan would count himself in that number – respond to the demands of a media world where outrage is a thing to be monetized?

My default response when people bang on about free speech in peril? Bull****.

By opening this latest chapter in his chequered career by asking important and pertinent questions of Donald Trump, Piers Morgan is at least giving the illusion that he will be even-handed and resolute. How long that will last remains to be seen. Many will hope Talk TV ends up another GB News, a little-viewed, right-leaning flop in the outer reaches of the Freeview universe. But if instead it thrives, it will be due to the din made by its mercurial, Marmite-y star turn.