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Sleb Safari: Celebrity Awards of 2020

Maeve Connoly

Maeve Connolly

Maeve is the deputy digital editor at The Irish News. She has worked for the company since 2000.

Rishi Sunak tweeted this picture with the caption "Quick Budget prep break making tea for the team. Nothing like a good Yorkshire brew" and Twitter turned its wrath on Yorskshire Tea
Rishi Sunak tweeted this picture with the caption "Quick Budget prep break making tea for the team. Nothing like a good Yorkshire brew" and Twitter turned its wrath on Yorskshire Tea

HELLO and welcome to the Sleb Safari Celebrity Awards of 2020. As always, it was a close-run race and a game of two halves. There were winners, there were losers, but what mattered was the taking part.

Best gentle reminder to be kind online

And the award goes to Yorkshire Tea for its gentle handling of what should only ever be described as a storm in a teacup over British chancellor Rishi Sunak sharing a picture of himself in an office kitchen beside a gigantic bag of Yorkshire Tea.

For days the company explained patiently to irate Twitter users that it had no political affiliation and had neither requested nor approved Rishi’s tea making tweet.

In the end one woman called Sue got so shouty that the Yorkshire Tea account had to remind her “Sue, you’re shouting at tea”.

Celebrity mostness

Who else but David Beckham? Sleb Safari will never tire of David posting pictures of himself on Instagram, taking the dog for a walk while dressed like a shepherd from the pages of Vogue.

David Beckham dressed as the world's wealthiest shepherd
David Beckham dressed as the world's wealthiest shepherd

Showbiz injury of the year

Troubled troubadour Pete Doherty walked off with the prize last year and in 2020 there was a clear successor – Ms Katie Price.

Katie broke both feet when she jumped over, or off, a wall at a theme park in Turkey during the summer and has spent months in a wheelchair and undergone surgeries.

By anyone’s standards that would qualify as an annus horribilis. Not for the Pricey. The thing that upset her most about the situation was having strangers on the internet suggesting it was a cover story for bunion surgery.

Katie Price captioned this Instagram picture: "Still going to enjoy the sun and create new tan lines"
Katie Price captioned this Instagram picture: "Still going to enjoy the sun and create new tan lines"

Most unexpected lockdown buddies

If you weren’t spying, baking or TikToking were you even on lockdown?

People got stuck in unexpected places when countries closed their borders back in March and none more so than Jedward who locked down with Tara Reid.

Those lovable balls of hyperactivity whose appearance points to their having a picture of Dorian Grey in the attic met Tara on Celebrity Big Brother 8 and have been hanging out in Ibiza, London, LA and trees ever since.

If they got through lockdown in a two-bedroom apartment with Tara and her boyfriend then this friendship is solid gold.

Celebrity besties Jedward and Tara Reid have been surviving lockdown together in LA. Picture from Tara Reid on Twitter
Celebrity besties Jedward and Tara Reid have been surviving lockdown together in LA. Picture from Tara Reid on Twitter

Most unwelcome announcement of political intent

Matt Goss -– the more, shall we say, ‘intense’ of the Bros twins – has thrown his hat in the political ring.

Matt announced this year that when he reaches 60 he’s going all-in to politics and has his sights set on becoming the prime minister of Britain.

Given how het up Matt got over the health and safety concerns that have destroyed the game of conkers Sleb Safari would have its own concerns that Matt’s prime ministerial priorities might not be what they should.

Matt Goss
Matt Goss

End of a TV era

A number of strong contenders emerged in this category. In the end, the Kardashian-Jenners calling time on the juggernaut that was Keeping Up With The Kardashians was pipped at the post by Duffy leaving Casualty.

Most-needed film of the year

You might struggle to recall it, but there was a time this year when good news flowed like a mountain stream. It was PP of course, Pre-Pandemic.

January 2020 offered us a waterfall of joy with news that a global superstar was finally getting the recognition they deserve with a film being made about their life. No, it wasn’t Madonna, although that project is taking shape and the soundtrack will be immense, but the original J Lo – Mr Johnny Logan.

The biopic Mr Eurovision is being developed by Northern Ireland production company Out Of Orbit Films with Glenn Patterson and Colin Carberry handling the screenplay so it’s going to be a corker.

Johnny Logan
Johnny Logan

The ‘She's nominated for what?’ award

Gemma Collins models her face mask. Picture from Instagram
Gemma Collins models her face mask. Picture from Instagram

You ask the public to name a scientific research vessel and you end up with Boaty McBoatFace. You maintain that any living person is an eligible candidate for the Nobel peace prize and you end up with Gemma Collins on the long list.

YouTube pranksters Josh Pieters and Archie Manners nominated Gemma as a potential purveyor of peace to North Korea.

"We believe in the GC effect, which is a peer reviewed hypothesis that if Gemma spent a long weekend in North Korea she could use the skills as seen in Towie to attempt to bring peace to the region," Josh and Archie said.

Nobel institute, your nomination process is noble, and your long list is likely a great source of amusement for the panel. Sleb Safari salutes you for making your day job fun.

With the awards wrapped up for another year all that remains is for Sleb Safari to wish you a happy and healthy 2021.

Cat Deeley and Peter Kay on the wireless

Cat Deeley 
Cat Deeley 

IF, LIKE Sleb Safari, you are bereft at the loss of Graham Norton from Radio 2 on Saturday mornings take heart in the knowledge that Claudia Winkleman is taking over that slot in February and until then Radio 2 has lined up a number of one-off presenters, including Cat Deeley who’ll be on the air this Saturday.

Peter Kay will be Cat’s special guest which means she won't be able to talk for laughing. Peter hasn't made very many appearances since taking time off a few years ago so it will interesting to hear what he has to say.

Peter Kay
Peter Kay

Nursing home residents are cooking up a storm

SLEB Safari was very taken with the story of a recipe book written by the residents of nursing homes across the Republic.

The idea was born out of the Wednesday baking demonstrations given in Ennis Nursing Home in Co Clare by resident Cissie Collins (91).

Designed by residents for residents, the book isn’t for sale which is a crying shame because it sounds like it’s packed with much loved recipes worth knowing and baking.

It also includes the stories of the people who have contributed the recipes, including 80-year-old Teresa McDonagh and her gingerbread cookies; the wild strawberry sponge of Julia Coleman (92) and 80-year-old Gregory Duffy’s apple tart.

Sounds like a book full of love.

Margaret O’Gorman shows off her Chocolate Biscuit Cake at St Martha’s Nursing Home in Co Cork (Mowlam Healthcare/PA)
Margaret O’Gorman shows off her Chocolate Biscuit Cake at St Martha’s Nursing Home in Co Cork (Mowlam Healthcare/PA)

Social Media Smut

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ian McKellen (@ianmckellen)