The pandemic made 2021 another difficult year for showbusiness, but frivolity prevailed regardless in the celebrity news cycle.
From Jake Gyllenhaal’s admiration for The Great British Bake Off’s “mesmerising” Prue Leith to Will Smith’s ban on “midnight muffins”, here are some of the stars’ lighter moments.
- Clara Amfo is made into a Barbie for International Women’s Day
Broadcaster Clara Amfo was made into a Barbie doll ahead of International Women’s Day in March this year.
The BBC Radio One DJ and former Strictly Come Dancing contestant had a doll made in her likeness to honour her work as a vocal advocate for racial equality.
The 36-year-old said of her Barbie twin:
“For me, having this doll represents the infinite possibility that I believe we all have a right to and my only wish it that it will do the same for anyone who sees her.”
- Will Smith swears off ‘midnight muffins’ in a bid to get fit
Will Smith took to Instagram in May to declare his desire to get in the “best shape of my life”.
The Men In Black star said he had let himself go during the pandemic and planned to transform his body, sharing a Boomerang video of himself posing topless in his boxer shorts with his hands on his hips.
“This is the body that carried me through an entire pandemic and countless days grazing thru the pantry,” the 52-year-old wrote.
“I love this body, but I wanna FEEL better. No more midnight muffins… this is it!”
- Jake Gyllenhaal reveals his passion for Bake Off and ‘mesmerising’ Prue Leith
Jake Gyllenhaal confessed he is a passionate fan of Channel Four’s The Great British Bake Off and said he is “mesmerised” by judge Dame Prue Leith.
The 41-year-old American actor told the PA news agency in July:
“In my mind, there’s literally nothing that can beat The Great British Baking Show (the US title for The Great British Bake Off).”
“Prue is my favourite. I’m mesmerised by her spectacles. Her coats or spectacles change and it’s almost as if they change every shot – or do they change every show? I can’t figure it out, and I just adore her. Prue’s fantastic.”
- May the force be with you, Harrison Ford tells a retiring firefighter
A member of the London Fire Brigade (LFB) was given a retirement present he is unlikely to forget – a surprise visit from Hollywood megastar Harrison Ford.
Blue Watch at Westminster fire station in central London had just finished roll call in August when the Star Wars actor got out of a car outside.
Ford, 79, spoke with firefighter of 31 years Andrew Shaw and wished him well with his retirement.
- The name’s Bond, Commander Bond
After more than a decade playing the world’s most famous secret agent, actor Daniel Craig now has another thing in common with James Bond: the military rank of commander.
The 53-year-old was made an honorary commander in the Royal Navy ahead of the premiere of long-awaited finale No Time To Die in September, which saw him hang up his tuxedo for good.
“I am truly privileged and honoured to be appointed the rank of honorary commander in the senior service.”
- Bear Grylls recalls the ‘privilege’ of eating ants with Prince George
'You encouraged our future King to eat some ants didn't you?' - @susannareid100— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) November 9, 2021
'His eyes lit up...What a little hero!'@BearGrylls recalls the moment Prince George ate his first ant! 🐜 pic.twitter.com/7MbzgAMPSM
Bear Grylls recalled how he got Prince George to eat an ant and said it was a “privilege” to give the future king the insect.
Speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain in November, the adventurer and TV star revealed that the eight-year-old’s eyes lit up after trying the bug, and called him a “little hero” for giving it a go.
- Adele has emotional reunion with ‘bloody cool’ school teacher
We all have that one teacher who changed our life… such a beautiful reunion! ❤️— ITV (@ITV) November 21, 2021
*PS, would totally buy Alan Carr’s version of ‘Make You Feel My Love* 🤣@Adele #AnAudienceWithAdele https://t.co/2ZZI2RS0mI pic.twitter.com/hlTOOZKt5j
Adele broke down in tears as she was reunited with her old English teacher during her ITV concert special in November.
The 33-year-old music superstar was surprised on stage by Ms McDonald, from Chestnut Grove School in Balham, south London, who taught her before she moved to the prestigious Brit School as a teenager.
“She was so bloody cool, so engaging, and she really made us care, and we knew that she cared about us and stuff like that,” the singer said.
Dame Emma Thompson then surprised Adele by inviting Ms McDonald on stage and the pair embraced, causing the tearful singer to smudge her make-up.
- Dwayne Johnson surprises a fan by giving him his personal truck
In December, Dwayne Johnson surprised personal trainer Oscar Rodriguez at a special screening of his new film, Red Notice, and got him up on stage to chat – but, after the film ended, The Rock revealed he was also giving Mr Rodriguez his personal Ford truck.
Mr Rodriguez, who cares for his 75-year-old mother, is a church leader and US navy veteran and provides meals and support for victims of domestic violence.
Speaking to Mr Rodriguez on stage, the 49-year-old actor told him:
“Your story really moved me because you’re always keeping it positive and motivational and optimistic.”
Mr Rodriguez replied:
“I’m just speechless, I did not know this was even going to happen. This is such a blessing.”