After being fired from the Manchester-set soap yesterday for using lyrics which threatened rape and violence in a online rap video, Coronation Street actor Chris Fountain won’t walk the cobbled street of Corrie again. ITV decided to axe the 25-year-old, who played Tommy Duckworth in the long-running soap, as a result of his “unacceptable comments”.
But he’s far from the first celebrity face to get the sack after such ill-advised behaviour. Up-and-coming stars, take note…
Back in 1998 when Richard Bacon, now 37, was a fresh-faced Blue Peter presenter, he was unceremoniously sacked mid-season after News of the World published a report on the star taking cocaine and cannabis. Then 22, Bacon said: “I fully accept and agree with the decision that has been taken… I am very grateful to Blue Peter for the opportunity it has given me and am very sorry that I have let everybody down.”
Blue Peter was Bacon’s first high-profile media role and while his career could easily have fallen flat on its face, he’s gone on to appear on The Big Breakfast, Top of the Pops, This Morning and now presents a radio show on BBC Radio 5 Live.
Russel Brand and Jonathan Ross
Once the golden boys of the BBC, Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross were taken off the radio waves in 2008 after making a series of obscene phone calls to 78-year-old Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs during a pre-recorded show. The duo left explicit messages on Sachs’ answerphone claiming that Brand had slept with his granddaughter Georgina.
The controversial stars were amongst the BBC’s highest paid, but after the phone calls and the outcry that followed Ross was suspended from Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Film 2008 with Jonathan Ross and his Saturday morning Radio 2 show while Brand was taken off his radio show.
As a result, Brand then resigned from the BBC, as did Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas and Radio 2 head of specialist music and compliance David Barber, who had both sanctioned the show’s broadcast. Ross was suspended without pay and later left the BBC.
Former football player, manager and pundit Ron Atkinson was pushed to resign from his job with ITV sport after a racism scandal. Thinking his microphone was switched off after a game between Chelsea and Monaco in 2004, Atkinson made a racist comment about “lazy” Chelsea defender Marcel Desailly.
Speaking after the event, Atkinson said: “To the people I offended, particularly Marcel Desailly, I would apologise for the comments I made. It was not an intentional comment, but it was an unfortunate one. I did not even know I had said it.”
Atkinson has since gone on to star in Celebrity Wife Swap – and is a rumoured contender for this year’s Celebrity Big Brother…
Outspoken American actor and courter of controversy Charlie Sheen was sacked by CBS in 2011. While his show Two and a Half Men took a break for the troubled star to go into rehab, Sheen publicly made derogatory comments about the series creator Chuck Lorre – comments which lead to Warner Bros banning him from the film set and dismissing him from the sitcom.
In the aftermath of his firing, Sheen had something of a public meltdown during which he famously claimed he was “bi-winning” and had “tiger blood.” He currently stars in Anger Management on Comedy Central.
American actor Isaiah Washington played Dr Burke in long-running medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, before, in 2007, his character disappeared at the end of series three, leaving his on-screen fiance Christina alone at the altar. And the reason for this sudden disappearance?
Washington’s contract with ABC wasn’t renewed after reports surfaced that he had assaulted Grey’s co-star Patrick Dempsey before insulting fellow-actor TR Knight, using a homophobic slur. After the news came out that Washington wouldn’t be in the fourth series of the show, he said: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” before later claiming: “They fired the wrong guy.”
Washington has since starred in critically panned Bionic Woman and will appear in upcoming American series The 100.
Best known for playing long-running character Les Battersby in ITV soap Coronation Street, Bruce Jones was dropped from the soap in 2007 after allegedly getting drunk with an undercover reporter to whom he divulged future story lines and made inappropriate comments.
An official statement from ITV read: “Bruce Jones will not be returning to his role of Les Battersby on Coronation Street. Bruce’s current contract will not be renewed when it ends in September of this year. The character of Les will not be seen back on screen.”
The 60-year-old actor has since stared in numerous pantomimes and published an autobiography. Apparently Jones is currently working as a mechanic in a garage in North Wales…
EastEnders star Melissa Suffield played Lucy Beale between 2004 and 2010, but was axed from the show because of her “unruly behavior” off-set. Her character, however, didn’t get the chop. Suffield was just replaced by new actress, Hetti Bywater.
Of her behaviour, Suffield said at the time: “It’s not like I was going out, punching photographers and being sick in a gutter. I’m only doing what every other girl of 17 does. It’s not an excuse, but out of all the things Lucy has done, the only one I’ve done is drink underage.”
Since leaving EastEnders Suffield has appeared in Casualty.
Ellie is an entertainment, TV and film journalist writing news and (hopefully incredibly witty) comment for RadioTimes.com. She loves light-hearted dramas and glossy US series - and is more than a little bit obsessed with Downton Abbey. Foodie, sun-seeker and aspiring novelist in her own time. Likes the fact that her name rhymes with telly.