• Sat
  • Jul 26, 2014
  • Updated: 6:05am

Six degrees

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 27 February, 2011, 12:00am

Piers Morgan (above) has presided over a 75 per cent drop in ratings for the American chat show he took over from Larry King. The spectacular nosedive was achieved in just two weeks, with one instalment attracting fewer viewers than a documentary about a supermarket on another channel. Before the first show aired, the Briton placed lifetime bans on certain celebrities, one of whom - who he described as being 'too boring for TV' - was Madonna ...

Despite being raised a Catholic before plumping for the Kabbalah faith, Madonna has consistently riled religious groups with stage shows involving burning crucifixes, simulated sex with saints, masturbation and bondage. The provocative imagery even spurred the Pope into action, with the pontiff urging the public to boycott the singer's concerts. In 1989, she was paid US$5 million for appearing in an advertisement that never made it to air, by Pepsi ...

Brad's Drink, as it was called when it first went on sale, in 1898, was renamed Pepsi Cola, after the digestive enzyme pepsin and kola nuts used in the recipe. In the 1940s, noting rival Coca-Cola's reluctance to hire blacks and its chairman's support for a pro-segregationist politician, the company targeted the African-American market. A poster campaign was launched featuring a black middle-class family, with a young boy reaching up to grab a bottle of Pepsi from his mother. That boy went on to become Bill Clinton's first secretary of commerce, Ron Brown ...

The events surrounding Brown's 1996 death in a plane crash fired up conspiracy theorists, who suggested he had been 'offed' after becoming a potential embarrassment, due to an investigation into alleged corruption. The only survivor of the crash, a stewardess, was seen scrambling around the wreckage but was later declared dead from, of all things, a broken neck. The crash occurred on the approach to Dubrovnik, Croatia, as Brown was leading a delegation on a fact-finding mission to help rebuild the region after the Bosnia-Herzegovina war ...

The conflict, which ran from April 1992 to December 1995, claimed up to 110,000 lives. By 1996, two million landmines and unexploded munitions littered Bosnia. By 2008, that number had dropped to 220,000, thanks to charities such as No More Landmines. The organisation folded in 2009 after a slew of bad press forced it to ouster its main patron, Heather Mills ...

The former glamour model has a long history of 'being elastic' with the truth, with her claims of having achieved any school qualifications; being raped as an eight-year-old; and of being a vegetarian all vigorously denied by her family, friends and first husband, who forced her to see a psychologist to get her compulsive lying under control. Her big break came in 1999, when she was introduced to multimillionaire husband-to-be Paul McCartney by the then editor of the Daily Mirror, Piers Morgan.


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