11 years ago today, the ultra ordinary boy hiding underneath a sequin cardigan, Preston, embarrassed himself on Never Mind The Buzzcocks.
It was fascinating to watch the mask slip on a ‘celebrity’, and no one has ever forgotten the moments following Simon Amstell’s fatal reading of Chantelle Houghton’s autobiography.
Preston, who thought he was important enough to be mononymous like Madonna or an ancient philosopher, couldn’t handle a light ribbing from the infamous savage that is Simon Amstell.
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Amstell pulled out a copy of Preston’s then-wife Chantelle’s book, ‘Living the Dream: My Story‘, and started flicking through his aggressively written annotations.
The lines he pulled out were hilarious and naturally, the panel of Phil Jupitus, Bill Bailey and guests Anne Charleston, Ed Byrne and Fyfe Dangerfield from the Guillemots, joined in with the ribbing.
The first line Simon read out was:
The Paris Hilton work was a low point for me. It wasn’t what I wanted to be doing and on top of that, it caused me some real problems with my hair.
After some very awkward eye contact and silence between the presenter and singer, Amstell decided to go on with a risky second quote from the biography.
The photoshoot was for the Daily Mail which made me feel really posh and upmarket.
This was all too much banter for the former Big Brother housemate and he stormed off stage saying he was off home.
After Preston chose to go on a comedy show and then couldn’t take a joke, he did an interview with BBC explaining his actions.
A very bitter Preston told Radio 1’s Newsbeat, Amstell was a ‘snotty little public schoolboy’:
I went on Never Mind The Buzzcocks and I was very up for the kind of rib-poking that you get on it but then he just started insulting my wife and as any married man would know, if that was in any other situation I would have literally hit him and knocked him out.
Obviously I didn’t want to resort to those sorts of things, so I just had to remove myself from the situation.
If I’d had to look at his snotty little public schoolboy failed-career face, I would have hit him.
He’s got no charm. He’s very bitter because he went on Popworld, he thought that he was going to have this Ant and Dec massive career and he’s just doing some little budget indie show on late at night.
The Ordinary Boys are still being boys, apparently:
Years later Preston realised he was taking his life way too seriously and attempted to shake his reputation as a whiny indie kid who wore that cardigan.
Apparently he ‘struggled to think why’ he ‘would have acted so weird’…now he knows how we felt.
In strong opposition to what he said in 2007, Preston described Amstell as a ‘funny, charming and likeable, which made it [walking off] all the more embarrassing’.
It’s funny how, as Preston’s relevance has dissolved into nothingness, he’s more complimentary of the famous people he once disparaged.
After Preston’s dramatic exit, he was soon replaced with a lovely and much better humoured well driller called Ed from the audience.
This was his replacement…not a bad resemblance and a better sense of humour.
Preston has expressed a desire to do the whole thing again and ‘show them I’m not a tantrum-y person’.
I’m not sure he realises how iconic the moment was and he’ll be forever be frozen in the memory of the nation in the silver sequin cardigan, silver boots and a face like a slapped rear.