In banter, you occasionally have moments where you'll reel off a jibe at someone and instead of the usual response - taking it on the chin and laughing, retorting with an equally good quip, spitting in your unguarded drink - they instead react badly. Perhaps the comment was too accurate or drew excessive mirth from onlookers, but the victim's demeanour changes; the eyes glaze over, the posture becomes more rigid and phrases more befitting a substitute teacher - 'steady on', 'there was no need for that', 'I like a laugh but...' - suddenly fill the air. We've all had them and we all get over over them, life carries on. Though not for Samuel Preston.
Do we remember Preston for his early 2000s chart-bothering with the Ordinary Boys, his turn in the best Celebrity Big Brother series ever (with the likes of George Galloway, Pete Burns AND Dennis Rodman no less), his marriage to glamour model Chantelle Houghton? No, we remember him for wearing a sequined cardigan and walking off Never Mind The Buzzcocks after being read a few exerpts from his wife's autobiography by host Simon Amstell. We remember his as the lad who couldn't hack the banter, who was the programme's standard weekly indie musician, so replaceable that an audience member filled his seat yet so memorable for getting offended by Amstell. I think Preston still makes tunes, but could probably have a tidy side gig getting roasted at student union nights and as a talking head remembering the wild old days of British pop culture circa 2007; Klaxons, Atonement, wearing neon hoodies from a now-extinct brand run by an receding Canadian pervert.
The event was one of Amstell's peaks during his tenure on the programme, his amiable yet withering sense of humour invited celebrities to take a swing, but more often led them to fall. Viewers and guests alike grew more accustomed to his style and learned how to respond, but at this stage Amstell was able to coax Preston into making a memorable fool of himself with fairly little effort. The show really declined until its 2015 cancellation, but moments like this, the Amy Winehouse episode - plus Sean Hughes in general before he got blacklisted from TV - remind you what a great show Buzzocks was. Drink it in:
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