The TV Untouchables

September 24, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Features

brucey_parkyAs that absolute strumpet Heather Mills found out last year, some British celebrity icons are simply not to be crossed.

No matter how much charity work a person claims to have done, their attempts to slate such national treasures will usually result in the British public collectively covering their ears and humming loudly until they accept their enforced exile.

After his scathing tirade against the evergreen Bruce Forsyth, in which he described the octogenarian as ‘untouchable’, Justin Lee Collins must be hoping that he will not be following in Mills’ footprint.

But the whole episode got us wondering – do we have TV royalty? Do any of them deserve a long-overdue media kicking? And most importantly, is Bruce Forsyth the oldest man to ever appear on television?

Terry Wogan

Despite being a household name for nearly four decades, the most controversial thing to have happened on one of Terry Wogan’s shows was George Best.

Not only has he presented Children In Need since the seventies, but he has the largest listenership in the history of European radio.

To be sure (to be sure) he even proved how in touch he is with the people with a stinging attack on Eurovision contest, after the most crooked voting process since the 2000 US election.

Indeed the closest this presenter from Limerick came to scandal was this crotch-bulging appearance on Points Of View.


Michael Parkinson

There can be little doubt that if there is such a thing as a club of television deities, Parky was one of the founding members.

However despite his popularity, we think that he might secretly be a bit of a b*****d. Quite a few people have taken exception to him in interviews over the years and we’re not just talking about emu.

Muhammad Ali threatened to knock him out, John Lennon made him put a sack over his head and he certainly won’t be getting a Christmas card from Meg Ryan after this savage interrogation in 2003…

Cilla Black

When the Guardian ran with a piece of ‘art’ which simply said “f**k Cilla Black? on the front cover of its G2 supplement, one journalist at the paper described the complaints as “like snow coming under the door?.

Unfortunately we can’t include the image on our high-brow not-even-the-slightest-bit-litigious website, but here is a link for those immature enough to be interested in such filth…

It’s good isn’t it?

Truth be told everyone loves the lass from Merseyside and those who don’t can’t really give a decent reason.

Not even Turner Prize-winning, ‘F U CB’ creator artist Gillian Wearing. For shame.

Bruce Forsyth

As Prince Charles knows, there is nothing more annoying than waiting around for an elderly person to vacate their job.

He is not the only person sitting twiddling their thumbs though. Just imagine the quantity of presenters who never got their chance in the spotlight due to Forsyth’s dogmatic refusal to retire.

Good old Bruce is receding in this photo – and it was taken over 40 years ago.

Sure, irritable young whippersnappers may snarkily bemoan his presence on our screens, but personally we’d be remiss to insult someone who appears to be nudging the boundaries of eternity-granting devil pacts.


Phillip Schofield

Can a man whose biggest achievements include distracting the unemployed from their job-hunting really count as an untouchable member of the television community?

Well if he wasn’t before, after playing a hand in the downfall of Fern Britton and the recruitment of Holly Willoughby, he definitely is now.

We have no doubt that hung-over students across the land will be lauding his efforts as they consider last night’s pizza.

Well played that man.


Oprah Winfrey

In her life, Oprah Winfrey has achieved more than Forrest Gump, she is a fully fledged cultural icon and her only controversy came when she spoke out against the war in Iraq back in 2003.

Of course whether you find that stance controversial or sensible is your own decision.

Unfortunately, an impeccable track-record was spoiled by this incident with Tom Cruise.

No-one blames Cruise directly for this – apparently this is normal behaviour in his cult – but Winfrey should have stepped in, fetched him a good hard slap and told him to sort it out.

Would you stand on the sofa at home Tom?

Sean Marland