101 Most Embarassing Moments in Entertainment

Wednesday, 18 February 2009, 8:00PM on ITV1

For the first time in Brits history, the Awards will be hosted by three dynamic presenters. Pop siren and three-time Brit Award winner Kylie Minogue teams up with comedy upstarts Matthew Horne and James Corden to host the biggest and most coveted music awards ceremony in Europe.

Reflecting yet another eclectic Brit Awards line up are British pop phenomenon Girls Aloud, UK soul chanteuse Duffy and America’s biggest export Kings of Leon, who will perform alongside global superstars U2 and Outstanding Contribution To Music winners Pet Shop Boys. The Brits continues to showcase some of the biggest and the best talent in music, with 2009’s line up shaping up to create one of the most exciting shows yet.

The trio first met in 2007 when Matthew Horne made a cameo appearance in Kylie’s hugely successful one off ITV1 special The Kylie Show and they have remained great friends and are promising to bring a night of sparkling wit and stunning outfits to The Brit Awards staged at Earls Court.

Preceding the main event, ITV2 viewers can catch all of the red carpet glitz, glamour and gossip with All Saints’ Nicole Appleton and Melanie Blatt in The Brits 2009 Red Carpet special. Then catch the after show party antics with Sara Cox and Rufus Hound in The Brits 2009 Encore.

101 most embarrassing moments in entertainment(5/5)
23.00–00.00

Everyone has the capability to make a fool of themselves, but, with their lives being played out in front of the cameras, celebrities seem to have a special knack for it. Completing the countdown of the 101 most toe-curling showbiz howlers in history, tonight’s programme features a CGI amphibian who beat a world-famous band to the top of the charts; a Premiership footballer exposed as a fan of older women; and a diminutive film star who went a little too far in his efforts to convince the public of his new love.

In May 2005, Coldplay’s Chris Martin was about to release ‘Speed of Sound’ –the first single from his band’s long-awaited third album. The song was already a huge hit in the US and was hotly tipped to reach the top of the UK charts. However, Coldplay’s release was actually pipped to the number one spot at the last minute by none other than the ‘Crazy Frog’ –an animated character responsible for the most annoying ringtone in the history of mobile telephony. One half of this entry in the charts of embarrassment, therefore, is that Chris Martin lost out to a frog, but the other, perhaps more significant half, is that the British public bought the atrocious single in their droves. “The success of the Crazy Frog is such a severe indictment of human nature,” says Vanessa Feltz, “that I throw my hands up in horror at it!”

Elsewhere in tonight’s countdown, we move away from music and into the realm of sport. As well as being known for cash, flash cars and questionable taste, Premiership footballers are also famous for dating beautiful women. Unless you are Wayne Rooney, who, in 2004, spent £45 a time to sleep with a prostitute 31 years his senior. “There’s something about a Wayne Rooney embarrassment that is completely gothic and unexpected,” says journalist Paul Morley. Things got worse for Rooney when a national newspaper published a note he had written to another prostitute, making it rather difficult for him to deny the accusations. Then, when the rumour of a PVC-clad grandmother began to rear its ugly head, the player’s position in the chart of embarrassing moments was cemented.

If you are a celebrity, it stands to reason that members of the public are interested in you and want to learn what you are doing. In 2002, talk show host and actress Rosie O’Donnell took this idea one step further when she decided that the public needed even more Rosie in their lives and created her own magazine –called simply ‘Rosie’. Having started low, the circulation figures of this narcissistic monstrosity soon dwindled even further. Her exasperated publishers eventually took out a $100 million lawsuit against O’Donnell. Rosie hit back with her own counterclaim, but both suits were dropped, much like the magazine itself. Says journalist Michael Musto of the affair: “It was a quagmire of terrible decisions and horrible results.”

The tour of shame remains in the US for another two stops, this time involving two of the most famous film stars in the world. The first concerns one-time action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger. When Arnie was running for governor in California, a group of women came forward claiming to have been groped by him during his film career. What was Arnie’s excuse for all this? “A lot of crazy things happened in the 70s.”

The second of these movie star humiliations, and one of the most embarrassing moments in the history of entertainment, involves Tom Cruise. In 2005 while on set of the Oprah Winfrey show, Cruise behaved like a deranged teenager as he proclaimed his love for new partner Katie Holmes. Despite leaping on the couch and punching the air, however, Cruise convinced nobody that his love was real. So painfully cringe-worthy was his performance, in fact, that even the unflappable Oprah was clearly uncomfortable. “It was embarrassing for everyone,” says presenter Paddy O’Connell, “including the sofa!”

101 most embarrassing moments in entertainment(4/5)
23.35–00.35

Everyone has the capability to make a fool of themselves, but, with their whole lives being played out in front of the cameras, celebrities seem to have a special knack for it. This series counts down the 101 most toe-curling showbiz howlers in history, including Britney’s short-lived marriage, Abi Titmuss’s sex tape, and Angus Deayton’s humiliation after being caught with his trousers down… twice.

Many people have a bit too much to drink on New Year’s Eve and wake up on January 1st with a string of regrets. Most people, however, do not have their indiscretions plastered all over the morning papers. This was the position in which a certain pop star found herself after a drink-fuelled moment of abandon. When Britney Spears woke up after a three-day bender which resulted in her marrying childhood friend Jason Alexander, her publicity machine sprang into action. So much so, in fact, that 52 hours later, the marriage had been annulled and Britney was a suitably embarrassed, but free woman. “She was obviously drunk,” concludes comedian Paul Tomkinson.

It seems that some celebrities are not happy just to be on the covers of magazines and all over the TV –many feel the need to video themselves as well, often in the bedroom. But when private tapes fall into public hands, things can get quite uncomfortable for the stars of these ‘amateur films’. Pamela Anderson and Paris Hilton have both had sex tapes stolen and broadcast on the internet. But in 2004, rumours started to spread that another saucy video was circulating –this time starring Abi Titmuss and her then partner John Lesley. Pictures from the video soon made it onto the front pages of most tabloid newspapers, and yet Titmuss continued to deny that a video even existed!

Titmuss may have been slightly deluded, or perhaps given some questionable advice from an agent, but the publicity she received was incredible and helped launch her career. Someone who fared slightly less well from such publicity was Angus Deayton. The sardonic quizmaster of ‘Have I Got News For You’ was known for his acerbic wit and superior attitude when commenting on the behaviour of politicians and other celebrities. This clean and haughty image took a battering when Deayton was caught having an affair with a prostitute and taking cocaine.

Deayton apologised and, after a week of public humiliation, the BBC stood by him and kept him on the show. Soon after, however, reports came through that he had conducted another affair with a different prostitute. His appearance on ‘Have I Got News For You’ that week presented a feast of gluttony for panellists Paul Merton and Ian Hislop, who “grilled him like a barbeque,” according to GQ columnist Martin Deeson. It was his last day on the show and his last broadcast as one of TV’s highest-paid presenters.

For the final dose of cringe-worthy celebrity calamity, the countdown concludes next week.

101 most embarrassing moments in entertainment(3/5)
23.05–00.05

Everyone has the capability to make a fool of themselves, but, with their whole lives being playedout on the cameras, celebrities seem to have a special knack for it. This series counts down the 101 most toe-curling showbiz howlers ever captured on celluloid, including Geri Halliwell’s disastrous 2005 documentary, Richard Bacon’s ignominious sacking from ‘Blue Peter’, and some of the most catastrophic actor-turned-pop star farragos ever witnessed.

The world of kids’ TV was rocked to its very core the day that ‘Blue Peter’ boy wonder Richard Bacon was sensationally axed after a tabloid newspaper caught him snorting cocaine. Not only was Bacon quickly relieved of his post, but he had to endure the sight of Children’s BBC boss Lorraine Heggessey making an apologetic speech on his behalf, just before the next edition of ‘Blue Peter’ aired. “I’m sure in his darker moments, he still squirms at this memory,” reflects Mirror journalist Kevin O’Sullivan.

A rich mine of celebrity embarrassment comes inthe form of pet projects that backfire horribly. Making an appearance in tonight’s countdown: Woody Harrelson’s baffling ‘O2’ bar where he expected patrons to arrive in droves just to breatheoxygen; and Alicia Silverstone’s disastrous and short-lived career as a film producer. But none of these celebrity faux pas come close to touching Geri Halliwell’s bewildering 2005 documentary, ‘There’s Something About Geri’.

The premise of the ex-Spice Girl’s show seemed to be to ramble on about every subject under the sun, surprising even her diehard fans at how undignified and banal she could be. The documentary’s nadir saw Geri taking to the streets and quizzing confused pensioners about their sex lives. “Your chin had carpet burns because it kept hitting the floor,” testifies Observer journalist John Lyttle. This odyssey of self-indulgence also saw Geri offer opinions on everything from spirituality, the Spice Girls and how best to dispose of dog poo. The singer has never quite recovered from the torrent of bad press the show deservedly received.“I think her future is in some show at the end of a pier,” says Martin Deeson of GQ. “Or possibly mumbling and walking down the street feeding pigeons and wearing grey slippers.”

High on the embarrassment count in tonight’s show are those celebrities who try their hands at alternative careers –usually with catastrophic results. For example, why did successful actor Mickey Rourke become a boxer? And what made supermodel Cindy Crawford think she had the talent to become an actress?

Another classic celebrity mistake is the actor who tries to become a pop star. Look no further than Donna Air and her post-‘Byker Grove’ band ‘Crush’, or ‘Hollyoaks’ hunk Will Mellor’s woeful sub-Westlife efforts. Maybe the crown of shame, however, belongs to comedian Richard Blackwood, who grazed the charts with his blingtastic ‘Mama Who’s Da Man’ single. “There was a time when you couldn’t get Blackwood out of your face,” laments Smash Hits girl Emma Jones. “Thank God he only had 15 minutes of fame.”

For another dose of cringeworthy celebrity calamity, the countdown continues next week.

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