The Osbournes take the stage in their new reality TV show: Crimewatch UK

In their television show - said to be admired by President George Bush - they were billed as just like any other family, only louder. And as the rock star Ozzy Osbourne and his wife, Sharon, spoke to the media yesterday about the theft of jewellery from their home, they were again playing the role of ordinary, hard-working celebrity folk.

In their television show - said to be admired by President George Bush - they were billed as just like any other family, only louder. And as the rock star Ozzy Osbourne and his wife, Sharon, spoke to the media yesterday about the theft of jewellery from their home, they were again playing the role of ordinary, hard-working celebrity folk.

It was a theme echoed by the police who insisted that the former Black Sabbath star - notorious for biting the head off a bat during a stage performance - and his spouse should be treated with "compassion, sensitivity and respect".

In an extraordinary press conference the first couple of reality television, ashen-faced and swathed in funereal black, appeared angry and traumatised by their experience. Osbourne, not too steady on his pins at the best of times, had clasped an intruder in a headlock before, apparently, letting him fall from a 30ft window. Still furious at the temerity of the burglar coming into his home, he had, he said, been acting on "insult". Would he do it again? "Is the Pope a Catholic?" he snapped back to reporters at the Bellhouse Hotel outside Gerrards Cross in Buckinghamshire.

Uninsured gems valued at £2m belonging to Mrs Osbourne were stolen from a bedside table at the couple's mansion in nearby Chalfont St Peter as they slept after a birthday bash for David Furnish, Elton John's partner, at The Ivy in London on Sunday.

Yesterday the Osbournes offered a £100,000 reward. Accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation, courtesy of Thames Valley Police, Mrs Osbourne described the sense of loss she felt with each piece: a daisy chain necklace - a 20th anniversary present from her husband; two rare Franck Muller watches; a ring of South Seas pearls with a diamond clasp; a huge "rose ring", measuring 4in by 24in; and an improbably large 24-carat sapphire, named the "swimming pool" - for the depth of its blue, not its size, apparently. She bought it when she first started making "significant money" as an investment for her children, she said.

Then there were the two wedding rings to replace the original, bought from H Samuel when they first met in leaner times. Finally, there was a large diamond ring weighing in at 10-carats.

Mrs Osbourne explained: "Ozzy always said I was a perfect 10. He said when he had the money he would buy me a 10-carat ring, and he did."

They were, she said, like any other hard-working couple. "I'm sure a lot of people will look at us and say, 'Well, they have got more, they can buy it again, there's more serious things happening in the world, who really gives a damn?'" she said.

"But the thing is, we worked for everything. I came from Brixton, Ozzy came from not a very nice part of Birmingham, and everything we have got we have worked our arses off for.

"I worked for every goddamn penny, and when somebody comes who hasn't worked and wants to take what's yours, you know it pisses me off big time."

Live broadcasters, who had imposed a 20-second time delay because of Osbourne's fondness for profanity, need not have worried. He failed to utter a single swear word.

Recent years had seen the best and worst of times, the couple said. There had been the success of The Osbournes and The X-Factor. But then Mrs Osbourne was diagnosed with cancer and her husband suffered a quad bike accident that left him in a coma.

Two of their children had been treated for drug problems, and now, after living crime free in Los Angeles, they had been burgled. England had been a "disappointment", they said.

For the self-styled Prince of Darkness it was all very depressing. "The world is getting more and more bad. There is a lot of people who want money. There is a lot of crime," he said.

News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor