Most shocking bust-ups in British TV history

18 Aug • 5 min read

All it took was a short advert, and one quick glimpse of the iconic ‘eye’ logo - and we all knew what was coming.

Big Brother is back. Whether you like it or not.

With that, comes a plethora of iconic pop culture references, controversy, and a program that was truly like no other during its original stints on Channel 4, then Channel 5. This time, it’s back on ITV, but we’re certain it will be jam-packed with the same chaos.

So, it got us thinking about some of the most iconic TV bust-ups to ever grace British TV screens. Here’s our top picks:

That joke isn’t funny anymore

2007 was a strange old year. And few TV moments encapsulated the madness quite like Celebrity Big Brother’s Preston storming off the Never Mind the Buzzcocks set after an altercation with then host, Simon Amstell.

There’s no doubt that the show, which has spanned over almost 300 episodes, has thrown up some pretty unpredictable moments over the years. This one pretty much tops the lot though. The sly jabs were one thing, but the icing on the cake was when Amstell whipped out a copy of Chantelle Houghton’s (Preston’s girlfriend at the time) biography, and proceeded to read some of the ‘literature’.

The bust-up continues to go down in the show’s history to this day and is easily one of the most infamous telly showdowns.

Katie v Holly/Phil

More often than not, ITV’s This Morning is known for its feelgood, albeit often emotional, tone. That, and the palpable chemistry between mainstay hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield.

That’s what makes it all the more gripping when there are clashes live on air. None have been more memorable than the two hosts going toe-to-toe with controversial TV personality, Katie Hopkins. The group got into a heated chat over Hopkins’ seemingly traditional views on children’s names.

After getting into it about her disdain for children that are named after places, Philip quickly reminded Katie that her daughter is called India. It was tense, awkward but above all - hilarious telly gold.

Big Brother’s big legacy

There are countless famous Big Brother clashes to draw from, but we went for one of the best. The 2016 instalment of Celebrity Big Brother was a weird, yet wonderful series. Nothing encapsulated this more than the unfortunate misunderstanding over David Bowie’s death being mistaken for housemate, David Gest.

Six years on, there’s still so much to unpack from this tumultuous scene, but one thing’s for sure - this moment will go down in history. It led to one heck of a showdown between Tiffany and Bowie’s ex wife, Angie, that still goes down as one of the show’s most explosive.

We’ve seen our fair share of impromptu bust-ups over the years and if we know one thing about British telly - it’s that we’re bound to have more in the future. It’s one of the reasons we love it so much, right?

What’s your favourite telly tantrum or box bust-up?