Jeremy Clarkson and 8 others who discovered they weren't bigger than the team 7 years ago

Jeremy Clarkson and 8 others who discovered they weren't bigger than the team

This is an article of cautionary tales.

We've all seen the Hollywood film about the prodigious young buck who starts from nothing, is discovered by a grizzled veteran, becomes an overnight phenomenon and proceeds to almost lose it all by acting like a complete cock.


Think 1980s-era Tom Cruise in, well, everything.

After Jeremy Clarkson was shown the door by the BBC last week, we rounded up a number of other celebrities who thought they were bigger than Jesus and were quickly taken down a peg or 12.

Jeremy Clarkson

We'll start at the end. Clarkson was skating on thin ice as it was.


Amber Lounge Fashion Monaco

Whether it was taunting the Argentines with a Falklands-referencing licence plate, punching Piers Morgan (which surprisingly didn't gain the man a knighthood), or a game of eeny-meeny-miny-moe that was never going to end well, the burly presenter had his share of controversies before unleashing the beast within upon Oisín Tymon.

Even his co-presenters frequently referred to Clarkson as a 'knob' but he brought the viewers in, and if he isn't in employed by Sky, ITV or Netflix before the end of April we'll eat our catalytic converter.

Russell Brand


Russell Brand Delivers The Reading Agency Lecture

Even before he was a household name, Brand thought it'd be a bit of craic to go to work at MTV dressed as Osama Bin Laden.

His actions on September 12th 2001 (eeesh!) saw him sacked a couple of days later. And then there was the prank call, which leads us nicely to...

Jonathan Ross



...and the Andrew Sachs prank calls. After they couldn't get Sachs on the phone to do a scheduled phone interview on their radio show, Ross and Brand made four calls to the Fawlty Towers comedian's mobile phone voicemail in which Ross revealed that Brand had slept with Georgina Baillie, Sachs' granddaughter.

And that was just the beginning.

At the time, The Jonathan Ross Show was one of the BBC's biggest hits but he had to be made an example of. He was suspended for three months and ultimately left the corporation for ITV in 2010.

Charlie Sheen


Premiere Of Dimension Films' "Scary Movie 5" - Red Carpet

Cocaine is a hell of a drug, people.

Sheen spiralled out of control during the eighth series of Two And A Half Men and was fired when he launched several attacks on both CBS and the show's creator Chuck Lorre.

It was a massive story as Sheen declared himself to be 'winning' despite clearly fighting a drug habit that would make Tony Montana look like a Teletubby. He thought he could hold the network to ransom but they just cut him loose and got Ashton Kutcher in to replace him.

It made no difference to the show, either. It was terrible both with and without Sheen.

David Beckham

David Beckham, Roy Keane

The cheek of him, falling in love with a Spice Girl and changing his haircut from time to time. Alex Ferguson would paint it that Beckham got a bit too big for his boots, so he gave him the boot (in the head) before giving him the boot (to Real Madrid).

Most others just saw a talented footballer who liked the limelight but Beckham was never less than professional in his working life. It's not like Fergie ever had to pick him up from jail or send him home for being hungover.

He wasn't bigger than the team and never claimed to be, but the more bigger Brand Beckham became, the less interest Fergie had in maintaining it.

Jaap Stam

1999 UEFA Super Cup Final. Monaco. 27th August, 1999. Lazio 1 v Manchester United 0. Manchester United's Jaap Stam on the ball chased by Lazio's Marcelo Salas.

The second of our United trio was one of the best defenders in Europe and won three Premier League titles as well as the European Cup and the FA Cup at Manchester United between 1998 and 2001.

However, it all went arseways with the release of Stam's autobiography and the revelation that Ferguson had *cough*tapped him up*splutter while he was still at PSV Eindhoven.

He also had some unkind words for the brothers Neville and this perceived arrogance saw him sold to Lazio at the age of 29 in 2001. Fergie later admitted it was a mistake.

Roy Keane


"Stick it up your bollix." The man is a monument to anti-authoritarian f**kuppery.

Stuart Townsend


Ah, that old director-artist creative chemistry. Townsend was the original choice to play Aragorn in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy but was told to do one and left New Zealand after only two days of filming.

The Irish actor was replaced by Viggo Mortensen and that, as we know, really went quite well.

Townsend, meanwhile, recently starred in the likes of Chaos Theory and Head In The Clouds. Us neither.

Eric Stoltz


More creative differences, with Eric Stoltz' super serious method approach hardly fitting a crowd pleaser like Back To The Future. He filmed for three or four weeks before producer Steven Spielberg looked at the clips and decided that he just wasn't funny.

Enter Michael J. Fox and the birth of a classic.