This year, the most viral moment from the Oscars, the world’s most star-studded event, came from England’s very own Hugh Grant.
In an interview that’s simultaneously been labelled ‘painful’ and ‘brilliant’, 62-year-old Hugh made it very clear – through a series of eye-rolls, desperate looks off-camera, and one-word answers – that he’d quite like to be anywhere else in the world.
He was being interviewed by model and presenter Ashley Graham, who to her credit, manages to keep up a professional pretence of having a nice time in the face of sheer grumpiness.
The pair discussed everything from his role in Glass Onion (‘I’m in it for about three seconds’) to who he expected to see win an award (‘No one in particular’).
Some think the interview was doomed from the moment Ashley, 35, referred to Hugh as a ‘veteran’, others say it fell off a cliff when she mistook his reference to Vanity Fair for a mention of the magazine, rather than the novel (at which point you see Hugh’s jaw literally drop).
And it really reached new levels of bum-clenchingly-awkward when Ashley asked him about his outfit (‘Just my suit’, he responded. Aaaggghhhh).
The car crash, perfect TV moment has completely divided opinion, with most Brits thinking it’s hilarious and most Americans thinking Hugh was just plain rude.
One person tweeted: “Interesting divide on Hugh Grant’s behaviour at the Oscars last night. I’ve carefully collated the discourse and offer the following analysis. Americans: he was impolite, ungrateful, dismissive, rude, belligerent, cantankerous, unhelpful. British people: lol lmao.”
Another said: “Hugh Grant doesn’t mean to be rude here, but this is how it feels like to be British and confronted by absurdly enthusiastic American extroverts.”
Someone else wrote: “Alexa show me British understatement vs American enthusiasm and make it Hugh Grant.”
The Hugh Grant vs Ashley Graham showdown has drawn comparisons to a similar interview with The Cure’s Robert Smith after he was confronted by an extremely energetic interviewer back in 2019.
Comedian Dom Joly simply said: “God I love Hugh Grant.”
Rolling Stone magazine tweeted: “And the Oscar for Best Actress goes to Ashley Graham telling Hugh Grant ‘it was nice to talk to you’.”
One person said: “Hugh Grant’s utter contempt for the Oscars circus is a thing of beauty (esp ‘What are you wearing’).”
And then there’s this fun take: “This is just Hugh playing his Notting Hill role, Mr. Thacker, a couple of decades down the track. After marrying Hollywood star Anna Scott all those years ago, it’s become clear he never took to celebrity life.”
Ashley has since addressed the interview to TMZ, saying: “You know what, my mama told me to kill people with kindness, so there you go.”
85-year-old gran from Altrincham stars in new Adidas running advert
Everyone’s favourite gran, Barbara Thackray, is back in the headlines and this time she isn’t just jogging and raising money, she’s featuring in Adidas’ brand new running advert.
The Altrincham-born and bred grandmother, who has become a local legend and inspiration across the UK with her incredible fitness and fundraising feats in recent years, is no stranger to being interviewed following her amazing efforts, but now she’s popped up in the new Adidas running ad too.
Barbara stars alongside the likes of Liverpool footballer Mo Salah, Qatari hurdler Mariam Farid and Egyptian runner Khadija Hegazy in the new TV and YouTube ad spot.
In the genuinely moving minute-long commercial, Barbara’s lovely little face pops up right at the end. Always save your best till last.
Actually quite stirring and inspiring, right?
Maybe it’s just us going soft in our old age (we never used to well up and interviews, promise), or maybe it’s because we know all the truly wonderful things she’s been doing for charity and her local community of late.
The Alty nan, who turned 85 earlier this month — the same day she broke her own PB in the annual Trafford 10k — has raised over £20,000 for St Ann’s Hospice in just a few short years, having been a champion of the organisation for more than 10 years amongst her sister’s illness and eventual passing.
She only started running when she turned 77 but now she runs around 12 miles every week.
The organisation’s Fundraising Manager, Lucy Leeming, said: “The awareness Barbara has raised across Greater Manchester for the importance and vitality of St Ann’s Hospice has undeniably helped raise funds and awareness for our charity.
“Her passion and dedication to towards our charity shines through in everything she does for us, we’re so grateful to have her support.”
As for Barbara herself, she’s still encouraging people of all ages to get into running; her only advice is “to begin gently and listen to your body.” No wonder the global sports brand chose her: she embodies everything the campaign is about.
To show this Alty gran some love and help her continue her incredible efforts, you can donate HERE.
Soccer AM cancelled after nearly 30 years on the air
Sky Sports have reportedly made the decision to cancel British TV and sporting institution Soccer AM after nearly three decades on the air.
The iconic football and comedy talk show which first aired in 1995 and enjoyed huge popularity throughout the 90s and early 2000s is set to end at the end of this season (its 28th) with just 10 episodes left, as per an exclusive report by The Sun.
According to a source who revealed details to the outlet, Soccer AM will be axed at the end of the 2022/23 season due to low ratings and viewing figures, which have both gradually decreased over time — as has the running time, which went from 240 minutes to just 90 in more recent years.
The insider went on to claim that the decision has come as “a complete bombshell” to those involved with the programme, with “morale at an all-time low”.
Staff on the show were reportedly told of the cancellation on Tuesday, with their last episode airing on Saturday, 27 May, the day before the end of the Premier League season, at which point they will be made redundant.
Issuing a response to the news, a Sky Sports spokesperson said: “Soccer AM has played an important role in our coverage of football for the past three decades, and we continually adapt to the evolving needs of our customers.
“We now go into a period of consultation to discuss the proposed changes with our people. We are unable to provide more detail while these consultations are underway.”
As for current presenters John Fendley and former footballer Jimmy Bullard, who have been at the helm of the show since 2019, the two are said to have been left “fuming” by the decision. Figures from within Sky and around the footballing world have been paying tribute to the programme.
The show began with Russ Williams and long-time host Helen Chamberlain presenting back in 1995 before the latter was joined by veteran TV personality Tim Lovejoy just a couple of years later, with the two going on to become the most famous pairing in the show’s history.
As well as recurring comedic guest ‘Tubes’ (Peter Dale), some of the most famous guests you can think of made their way through Soccer AM‘s doors down the years, including the likes of Oasis, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Kevin Hart, Dave Bautista, umpteenth footballers and countless others — you name ’em.
However, the show was not without its controversies and reflected a very different time and admittedly outdated part of British culture, to say the least.
Perhaps the most infamous serial segment of the show was its ‘Soccerette’ feature, which saw attractive young women walk into the studio and asked how old they were as men cheered “great age!”
The show obviously had to evolve over time but sadly its viewership continued to dwindle, no matter how much affection there was back in its heyday.
Speaking to Mirror Sport back in May 2022, leading figure Bullard admitted “it’s hard trying to refresh a show every single week with all the new material”, but that he still found it a privilege to be trusted with reinventing a show that is still “the start of a lot of people’s mornings on a Saturday.”
It was certainly far from perfect and pretty problematic at times, but it still played a huge role in the lives of many British people and young football fans’ formative years.