Hit & Run: Why Coldplay really are yellow

Having watched arch rival Family Guy clean up at the recent Emmy nominations, Simpsons fans now have further reason to despair with the announcement that Coldplay (right) are to guest star in an episode from the upcoming 21st series, screening this autumn.

World-renowned for their sense of humourlessness, the sob-rockers certainly have a lot to live up to: hundreds of hallowed names have graced Springfield in its 19-year run – starting with Tony Bennett and including Stephen Hawking, U2, Michael Moore and Britney Spears – even if an increasing whiff of comic desperation has surrounded recent choices (hello, Tony Blair, right).

Where The Simpsons was the first show to repeatedly roll out the red (or should that be yellow?) carpet, countless others have followed, deluged by A-listers looking to show off their funny bone, boost their credibility, or simply take a break from Hollywood/touring/taking charge of the country. But as anyone who saw Geri Halliwell (top right) in Sex and the City will know, making a good impression in a hair's breadth of screentime isn't easy. So, in a spirit of unexpected generosity to Chris Martin et al, here are some all-important dos and donts of the celebrity cameo:

Do be prepared to have the mickey taken out of you

Ricky Gervais's Extras found a host of famous faces scoring brownie points by oh-so-gamely essaying caricatured versions of themselves, from the improbable – Daniel Radcliffe as a chain-smoking womaniser – to the prophetic – Kate Winslet declaring "If you do a film about the Holocaust, you're guaranteed an Oscar," four years before her turn in The Reader proved exactly that.

Do the unexpected

Want to show that you're savvier than your average star? Then forget airbrushed US sitcoms, and head for an altogether quirkier kind of show: take a tip from Johnny Depp, who helped bolster his image as Hollywood's hippest heartthrob with his unlikely appearance as one of the "suits you" salesmen in The Fast Show.

Do pick a show you love

Don't just instruct your agent to nab the first role available, lest you end up dressed as an offensive stereotype in Horne and Corden (and yes, we mean you Will Young). Rather, think about what you would actually watch if you had time between all those Pilates sessions, awards ceremonies and save-the-world missions. Take a leaf out of popstrel Taylor Swift's book, she, you'll remember recently featured in favourite show CSI. Adherence to this rule will also make all that gushing pre-publicity less hassle.

Don't fall out with the show's star

The cameo is a great chance to extend your celeb buddy network, so steer away from any on-set ego battles, or you might find your career sliding downhill as quickly as you can say Lindsay Lohan, whose six-episode stint in Ugly Betty was cut short amid reports of a feud with the show's lead.

Avoid real-life partner

No one likes to see couples airing their love in public, and that's no different on the small screen. As with Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston in Friends, when the inevitable divorce comes, you will be forced to endure endless daytime repeats of your connubial japes, like some ghastly, ineradicable televisual tattoo.

Hugh Montgomery

Nick Drake: music to lose girls by

"Wrist-slasher music" one ex- girlfriend used to call it. And if she considered my love for such classics as Joy Division's Closer, Joni's Blue, Bruce's Nebraska, Radiohead's The Bends and the collected works of Leonard Cohen distressing while we were together, imagine what she'd have made of the stuff I listened to once we'd split up.

Depressing music is a male coping mechanism. So it's no surprise to hear that, last week, Brad Pitt – following a move into his own pad after a row with Angelina (where would we be without Grazia magazine?) – began to blare out the very sound he was feeling in his tortured soul. According to neighbours, "Brad is miserable." How do they know? "There have been a couple of nights when we've heard him playing Nick Drake music quite loudly!"

Poor Nick Drake. In spite of the fact that not all of this most British of folkie's songs are particularly sad (check out "Hazey Jane II", from 1970's Bryter Later), he has, postmortem, become the poster boy for wrist-slasher music. Brad should watch out. The other Hollywood A-lister with a known obsession for Drake's music was Heath Ledger, who, frustrated at not being able to get a film of the singer's life off the ground, made a short video to one of Drake's songs before taking a "toxic combination of prescription drugs".

Reports that Angelina has just downloaded the Hannah Montana 3 Soundtrack have yet to be verified.

Simmy Richman

Confessions of a sunbed addict

Huddling outside the office in the pouring rain, sucking on a damp roll-up. Deciding that, at noon, the sun is indeed past the yard arm and there's no harm in a tiny glass of pinot grigio. Poking down a Big Mac then following it with a McFlurry chaser. These health transgressions pale into insignificance compared to the crimes against wellbeing that the average sunbed user commits every time they enter their tanning parlour of choice. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified UV-emitting beds and booths 'carcinogenic to humans' so anyone topping up their tan has to be an idiot with a death wish, right?

I am that idiot. Despite evidence of the deadliness of sunbeds, a 10-minute stand-up session in the glowing warmth, wearing not a stitch while listening to the pumping beats of the tanning attendant's favourite R&B album, is a fabulous feeling, especially in the sun-starved winter months. But there are mitigating circumstances – as an eczema sufferer, a dermatologist once recommended I expose my scales to the sunbed's glare. At least that's my story, officer.

Anonymous

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century