Kim Woodburn’s furious encounter with Colleen Nolan on ITV’s Loose Women is only the latest in a long line of memorable celebrity walkouts.
Ostensibly invited onto the lunchtime talk show to reconcile with a TV personality she had previously fallen out with on Celebrity Big Brother in 2017, Woodburn instead insisted Nolan is “a horrible person – she’s trash”.
Accusing the singer and others of bullying her on the reality show, the How Clean is Your House? presenter ignored her fellow panellists’ attempts to calm the situation, stating: “I’ll never forget what the likes of her and others put me through.”
The pressures of fame and the monotony of the interview process can often lead to friction and the resulting outbursts frequently make for far more gripping television than might have been produced had matters gone to plan.
Here’s a selection of some of the finest.
Preston on Never Mind the Buzzcocks (2007)
The Ordinary Boys frontman was mercilessly teased by host Simon Amstell during the opening moments of his appearance on the BBC comedy panel show in January 2007.
Introduced to his obvious chagrin as “a professional celebrity”, Preston struggled to remain good humoured during Amstell’s withering introduction. “Preston appeared on Celebrity Big Brother and then married the winner, Chantelle [Houghton]. Preston was worried it would alienate hardcore Ordinary Boys fans but, luckily, neither of them were in the country… or existed.”
He admitted to being upset by the remark, to which Amstell replied: “Well, you know, you can’t go on Big Brother and get away with it.”
The host then began cruelly reading aloud some particularly fatuous passages from Houghton’s autobiography, at which point Preston lost his cool and stormed out of the studio, tearing off his mic.
Undeterred, team captain Bill Bailey picked out an audience member – a well driller named Ed, who vaguely resembled Preston – to continue in his stead. The studio audience loved it.
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Robert Downey Jr on Channel 4 News (2015)
In London in April 2015 to promote Avengers: Age of Ultron, Downey Jr was interviewed by Krishnan Guru-Murthy and, after initially getting on swimmingly, their conversation soured when Guru-Murthy began to ask about his troubled past.
Murthy brought up a quote the actor had given to The New York Times years earlier in which he appeared to suggest he was no longer “a liberal” after serving time in prison for drugs offences.
Downey Jr attempted to answer without committing himself before deflecting (“Are we promoting a movie?”), becoming visibly uncomfortable at the turn towards the personal, looking aside to an aide and clearly losing patience.
When Murthy persisted, Downey Jr got up to leave, saying, “You seem OK, it’s just getting a little Diane Sawyer.”
Murthy had previously had a heated exchange with Quentin Tarantino about the question of violence on screen and its real-life repercussions. While publicising Django Unchained, the director told his interlocutor: “I’m shutting your butt down!”
Russell Crowe on Front Row (2010)
Already tetchy about the lukewarm reviews his new film Robin Hood had received from critics, the combative Australian was particularly irked by presenter Mark Lawson when he appeared on the BBC Radio 4 arts programme.
Lawson suggested the accent he had adopted for the role, which Crowe believed was authentic to Nottinghamshire, actually contained “hints of Irish”.
“You’ve got dead ears mate, you’ve seriously got dead ears, if you think that’s an Irish accent,” Crowe responded, clearly annoyed.
“B*******,” he said, as Lawson protested, going on to talk about his character’s history before returning to the apparent criticism, unable to let it go.
“I don’t get the Irish thing by the way. I don’t get it at all,” he said, marching out of the studio with a wave of his cigarette.
Harry Redknapp on Sky Sports (2010)
The well-travelled football manager, then at Tottenham, took serious exception when Sky reporter Rob Palmer attempted to ask him about forthcoming transfers with a line of inquiry opening, “You’ve made your name as a wheeler and dealer...”
“No I’m not a wheeler and dealer. No. F*** off,” Redknapp responded, storming away.
“I’m not a f***ing wheeler and dealer, don’t even, don’t say that, I’m a football manager”, he said off-camera. The whole exchange lasted 13 seconds.
Two days later, Redknapp signed the Dutch striker Rafael van der Vaart for a very reasonable £8m, therein proving the validity of the original question.
Joan Rivers on CNN (2014)
The legendary comedian took umbrage at CNN host Fredricka Whitfield arguing that her criticism of other public figures over their fashion choices was mean and then blew up entirely when Whitfield hinted it might be hypocritical to wear a fur coat on the cover of her new book while advocating animal welfare.
“I’ve made people laugh for 50 years, I am put on Earth to make people laugh, my book is funny!” Rivers said.
“I wear fur that was killed 15 years ago, I work for animal rights… you are not the one to interview a person who does humour, sorry!”
Naomi Campbell on ABC News (2010)
The supermodel was incensed when an ABC interviewer attempted to ask about a “blood diamond” she had supposedly been given by Liberian dictator Charles Taylor while backstage at a fundraiser for victims of the Haiti earthquake in 2010.
Refusing to answer, Campbell looked away imperiously as her assistant spoke for her, then slapped a camera as she sailed out. Glorious.
The Bee Gees on Clive Anderson Talks Back (1997)
One of the most excruciating of all walkouts is Barry Gibb leading his reluctant brothers off set during an interview with satirist Clive Anderson.
Seemingly annoyed at Anderson’s indifference to and ignorance of their back catalogue, Gibb simply stood up and left, leaving the experienced presenter stuttering, unable to work out whether the band were in earnest.
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