Word emerged this week that Happy Mondays maraca-man Bez wants to two-step his way onto Strictly Come Dancing. “I’d have a top time and give it 100 per cent,” he declared. If he is selected he’s bound to steal the show, considering every appearance the band have ever made on reality TV has been funnier than Donald Trump on fire. Here are their best reality TV moments.
SHAUN SHITS HIMSELF IN A HAUNTED HOUSE
In 2009, Most Haunted’s Yvette Fielding took the entire band to some of the most poltergeist-infested locations in Lincoln and Nottingham and sat them in dark, creaking rooms all night to be tormented by their own flashbacks. Highlights included Bez offering a ghost a swig of his brandy, the band contact an obviously pissed spirit via a oijja board – “Y, G, F, P, F….” – and Shaun claiming some unexplained wails “sound like my next door neighbour getting fucked on a Friday”. “If you’ve taken those kinds of substances over a long period of time you become even more sensitive to some of the things going on,” claims the in-house psychologist as Shaun freaks out like he’s being goosed by phantoms in the turret room.
RECORDING ‘OOH LA LA TO PANAMA’ WITH THE EMBERA TRIBE
Watch TV’s Singing In The Rainforest involved the Patridge-esque idea of taking a variety of acts to meet and collaborate with remote tribes. Hence the Mondays found themselves in what Ryder described as “Apocalypse Now without the acid” as they canoed deep into the jungle of Panama to play for the Embera People of the Upper Chagres River and write a new song with them called ‘Ooh La La To Panama’. “We know the time of day from what the monkeys say,” Shaun sang, “we’ve all got knees and air from trees”. Then he handed the bemused villagers a packet of Werther’s Originals, said “thanks for having us” and left.
SHAUN GETS BITTEN BY A ‘DIRTY BASTARD’ OF A SNAKE
After Bez won Celebrity Big Brother 3 in 2005, Shaun was given his own shot at highly-paid televisual humiliation on the 2010 series of I’m A Celebrity…, where he came runner up to Stacey Solomon. He was undoubtedly the best – and often sweariest -value of the series though, as he manfully took a snakebite to the fist with a muttered “you dirty bastard – if that weren’t someone’s animal I’d have mashed it” and scoffed down a crocodile’s eyeball claiming it tasted like “yoghurt, with the consistency of shoelaces”.
BEZ BUNGEES OFF THE GOLDENEYE BRIDGE
As a man who has regularly felt the euphoric rush of plunging into the depths of narcotic depravity, the world’s longest bunjee jump was child’s play to Bez as he took part in series four of Jack Osbourne’s Adrenalin Junkie. The show also saw him make a daredevil leap from one cable car to another and partake in something called Swiss pant wrestling.
SHAUN SPOTS A ‘UFO’
“As a 15-year-old lad in Salford I saw a ball of light whizzing about in the sky as I stood at a bus stop,” Shaun reveals at the start of an entire History Channel series he got from a single acid trip in 1977. The series, Shaun Ryder On UFOs, was like watching a gullible schoolboy who’s never heard of photoshop or military research staring in amazement at fuzzy photos of airborne dustbin lids, or pretending to understand the deeply technical stories of abduction victims in Chile, speaking in Spanish. Best quote, as Shaun gawped at a “mysterious light” in the sky: “it was changing from green to red, almost like when you see a plane”.