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5 biggest storms on the small screen in 2021

Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are interviewed by Oprah Winfrey. Picture: Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese/Handout via Reuters

Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are interviewed by Oprah Winfrey. Picture: Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese/Handout via Reuters

Published Dec 31, 2021

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Controversies are perfect for boosting audience ratings. And several shows/ celebrities couldn’t help stirring the hornet’s nest.

As we get ready to welcome the new year, let’s reflect on some jaw-dropping moments of 2021.

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CBS Presents Oprah with Meghan and Harry

Aside from the interview going down in the history books as the most explosive royal tell-all, it was also the most searched interview in Google Trends history.

The queen of talk show had her “confessional couch” warmed up once again, and this time it was by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who was expecting baby number two at the time.

With so much titillation in numerous reports and video clips in the build-up to the interview, especially with Oprah Winfrey gaping over some of the revelations, viewers the world over were chomping at the bit to hear what the couple had to say.

And they were not disappointed as Meghan opened up about the pressures of being a member of the royal family and the impact it had on her mental well-being.

She also revealed that a member of the royal family questioned the colour of their unborn child and addressed issues with Kate Middleton, among other things.

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Talk about opening a can of worms!

Piers Morgan stomping off the set of “Good Morning Britain”

One of Meghan Markle’s greatest detractors, Piers Morgan never misses an opportunity to take a pot-shot at her. And after that tell-all, he seized the moment to do so on “Good Morning Britain”.

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But this time around, he didn’t get away with bashing Meghan.

Co-host Alex Beresford challenged him and said: “I understand you've got a personal relationship with Meghan Markle or had one and she cut you off.

“She's entitled to cut you off if she wants to. Has she said anything about you since she cut you off? I don't think she has but yet you continue to trash her."

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It wasn’t long after that Piers got up and stormed off, ranting: “"OK, I'm done with this. Sorry, no... sorry, can't do this..."

It was later reported that Piers has decided to quit the show, with immediate effect.

In a statement issued shortly after, it read: “Following discussions with ITV, Piers Morgan has decided now is the time to leave Good Morning Britain. ITV has accepted this decision and has nothing further to add.”

The Bachelorette SA

In M-Net’s first season of “The Bachelorette SA”, Qiniso Van Damme, who was an unlucky contestant in season two of “The Bachelor SA”, got another shot at finding love.

Born to a Belgian father and a mother, who is half Swazi and half Zulu, this leggy model-cum-actress is not just a pretty face, she had two degrees under her belt and was busy completing her Masters in Social Anthropology at the University of Cape Town.

Sadly, the choice of suitors for her left Mzansi terribly disappointed and they took to social media to express their discontent.

Whoever was playing matchmaker on the production side failed dismally in playing Cupid, even though she ended up walking off into the sunset with Gareth 'Gaz' Ehret.

Love Island SA

Talk about getting off to a rocky start, that is exactly what happened on season one of M-Net’s reality dating show. It was slated for its lack of representation.

Adding insult to injury, the shoddy editing didn’t go unnoticed by viewers, who weren’t shy about expressing their opinion.

As such, M-Net put a temporary halt on the airing of the show and worked overtime to course-correct the major oversights.

The show bounced back, eventually, but beady-eyed viewers kept a close eye on the new episodes and were eventually bowled over when Libho Geza and Thimna Shooto won.

The Braai Show with Cassper Nyovest

Jaws dropped when Cassper Nyovest was announced as the new host of the SABC1 show. That it was a controversial “takeover” from his arch-rival and predecessor, AKA, certainly fuelled curiosity, too.

AKA didn’t take the decision lying down and threatened the production company as well as the public broadcaster with legal actions.

He demanded 50% of the copyrights to the show and wanted an executive producer credit.

Cake Media and MakhuduCom later issued a statement stating that they are the “sole executive producers” of the second season of “The Braai Show”.

The statement read: “As a business, the executive producers have a duty to deliver maximum value for viewers, broadcasters and advertisers.

“To this end, it is their mandate and prerogative to secure the most appropriate talent, evolve the show, secure funding and deliver a compelling product to audiences.

“Due to various reasons, they have had to pivot the show and solicit a new host in an effort to ensure success. Kiernan Forbes (AKA) plays no role in season two.”

When the show aired on SABC1, Cassper trended on Twitter.

Mzansi loved him and his swag. End of beef (on that issue, at least).

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