Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
27 December 2015updated 26 Jul 2021 4:36pm

Ten times politicians collided with celebrities in 2015

“You classist gimp.”

By Anoosh Chakelian

Sometimes politicians clash, or bond, with other high-profile people. Either way, it’s usually very embarrassing. Here’s a few we can recall from 2015:

Chris Bryant and James Blunt

The Labour MP for Rhondda dared give an interview to the Guardian about privilege in the arts and evoked the full wrath of crooning neo-Cockney Rhyming Slang vehicle James Blunt.

“You classist gimp…” Blunt began in a letter to the MP. “Perhaps what you’ve failed to realise is that the only head-start my school gave me in the music business, where the VAST majority of people are NOT from boarding school, is to tell me that I should aim high. Perhaps it protected me from your kind of narrow-minded, self-defeating, lead-us-to-a-dead-end, remove-the-‘G’-from-‘GB’ thinking, which is to look at others’ success and say, “it’s not fair.”

Bryant responded by telling the singer not to be so “blooming precious”.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

Photo: Getty

Alexis Tsipras and Hugh Laurie

The new Greek Prime Minister (and House fan, apparently) sent his first post-election win tweet to Hugh Laurie.

Aw.

Jim Murphy and JK Rowling

Harry Potter’s creator took pity on the then Labour frontbencher Jim Murphy, who lost his seat to the SNP in the general election. So she gave him a place in Gryffindor.

Photos: Harry Potter screengrab & Getty

Sajid Javid and Mary Beard

The jovial classicist and twitter fiend Mary Beard bluntly but fairly pointed out a rather embarrassing mistake in a Times article by the then Culture Secretary, Sajid Javid:

Jeremy Corbyn and Donald Trump

OK, Trump’s a politician too now apparently (I just don’t want to admit it to myself), but this one still counts. The rabidly rightwing Republican presidential hopeful was duped into retweeting a picture of Jeremy Corbyn, in the belief that he would be voting Trump.

David Lammy and Lenny Henry

The Labour MP for Tottenham jumped on ITV News’ shameful error in which it used footage of Ainsley Harriott in a piece about the comedian Lenny Henry receiving a knighthood. In a simple yet effective move, he tweeted:

Lots of awkward politicians and Russell Brand

A series of videos released on the terrifying YouTube channel of the Charles II-cum-Casanova scarecrow comedian revealed multiple politicians valiantly battling through the most awkward and least appropriate interview of their lives. Here’s the Ed Miliband one, for old times’ sake:

Ah, remember the weird accent he slipped into? “It’s sorta one rule for the richest”; “it’s just, like, wrong”; “Northern Rock an’ all tha’”; “Yeah we gotta deal with that”; “it ain’t gonna be like that”.

No it ain’t Ed, it really ain’t.

The Northern Powerhouse and Johnny Marr

Yeah, yeah it’s a political concept rather a politician, but still worth remembering. The Smiths’ guitarist slammed George Osborne’s great plan for the north as being “patronising and thick”.

Nicola Sturgeon and the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart

The First Minister was a hit on the popular US comedy fixture, making so many quips about its host Stewart’s relentless teasing that he conceded: “See that? You are a comedian!”

 “So you think you’re Saddam Hussein? You get 99 per cent?” asked Stewart.

“I think you should always aim for more,” Sturgeon fired back.

In another humorous exchange, Stewart asked his guest how much oil Scotland has: “How much are we talking about here? May we invade you?… How much oil are we talking about?”

Sturgeon replied, facing the audience: “I think this is progress because you just heard there Jon, presumably on behalf of the United States, asking permission to invade an oil-producing country. It doesn’t usually work that way.”

Oh, Nicola.

Ed Miliband and Aardman

Years of Wallace-shaming led to the animations company giving the former Labour leader a sneaky cameo in its Shaun the Sheep film. We’re pretty sure it was supposed to be him:

Photo: Shaun the Sheep movie still