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It sounds a little like Piers Morgan wanted to one-up fellow journalists when his dinner conversation 10 years ago turned into an explanation of how to hack someone's voicemail.

Morgan, who's so far carefully avoided implicating himself in testimony over News International's hacking scandal, was apparently a little less guarded over dinner with the BBC's Jeremy Paxman in 2002, Paxman told the Leveson Inquiry on Wednesday. Morgan, who was editor of The Daily Mirror at the time, teased television presenter Ulrika Jonsson, who was also at the dinner, about an affair she was having with soccer manager Sven-Goran Eriksson. How did Morgan know about this affair? Because he can listen to people's voicemail. How does he do that? The Independent's John Fahey picks up Paxman's explanation:

Mr Paxman told the inquiry: "He turned to me and said 'Have you got a mobile phone?'

"I said yes 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'."

That is a very different Piers Morgan than the one who piously told the Leveson Inquiry in December, "I'm not going to get into rumor-mongering." But those were different times.

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