While it hasn't exactly been a 'normal' year, 2021 thankfully delivered plenty of moments worth celebrating.
Back in January, Russell T Davies much-anticipated drama It’s A Sin aired on Channel 4 and proved to be well worth the wait. The hit show introduced us to numerous brilliant newcomers and made a TV star out of musician Olly Alexander.
Later, we had Price Harry and Meghan Markle’s bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview, which sent shockwaves across the Atlantic and through the Royal family.
And finally, of course, there was Adele’s glorious return to the scene. These moments, and more, are among the ones we’re celebrating this year.
See the full list of OK! Showbiz Award winners for 2021 below…
Best-connected celeb: Adele
Judging by the gaggle of A-listers who turned out for her ITV special, An Audience With Adele, the Londoner has the most star-studded contacts book in showbiz.
Dua Lipa, Emma Watson, Gareth Southgate, Jodie Comer, Samuel L Jackson, Stormzy and Dawn French turned out to see the singer, 33, belt out her biggest hits ahead of the launch of new album, 30. But it was Brit actress Dame Emma Thompson who almost stole the show with her enthusiastic dancing. You go, girl!
Of course, the most memorable guest wasn’t a celeb at all – it was Adele’s former teacher, Ms McDonald, who reduced the star to tears when she surprised her on stage.
TV bombshell: Oprah interviews Meghan and Harry
An incredible 14.8 million of us tuned in to watch US chat show queen Oprah Winfrey grill Meghan and Harry in a leafy Californian garden back in March.
Fresh from their Stateside move after stepping down as senior royals in 2020, the couple spilled the beans big time. As well as shocking allegations of racism (which the Palace strongly denies), they claimed they’d been cut off financially, while Meghan said she’d even contemplated suicide, revealing, “I did not want to be alive any more”.
Meghan, 40, also rubbished claims she once made the Duchess of Cambridge cry, alleging it was in fact Kate who’d made her cry, during a row over flower girl dresses.
Surprising celeb hobby: Tom Daley
When the superstar diver was spotted happily knitting away at the Tokyo Olympics back in August, the world fell in love with him just that little bit more.
Not only is Tom, 27, a doting dad and a gold medal-winning diving champ, he can now rustle up a cosy cardie or a pair of baby booties in between dips in the pool.
Opening up about his poolside hobby, Tom said, “Learning to knit and crochet has helped me so much through these Olympics.” An Instagram account dedicated to his fluffy creations – @madewithlovebytomdaley – has racked up 1.4million followers and Tom’s even released his very own range of knitting kits, just in time for Christmas. Beyond cute!
End of an era award: Keeping Up With the Kardashians
The reality TV juggernaut finally screeched to a halt back in June, after 20 seasons and 14 years on air. The show famously documented the dysfunctional family’s never-ending stream of dramas – from no-holds-barred births, ill-advised marriages and bitter divorces to jail sentences and battles with addiction.
It also made multi-millionaires of Kim K and her siblings, spawned multiple spin-offs and arguably changed the face of reality TV forever. Would TOWIE and MIC exist without the Kardashians? Unlikely.
Most shocking court moment: Britney Spears
The #FreeBritney movement gathered even more momentum after the star finally got to speak her truth during her raw, emotional conservatorship hearing back in June.
"I just want my life back," she pleaded to the judge during her 23-minute address to the court. Hearing Britney, 40, reveal – in her own words – what life had been like under her father’s 13-year conservatorship was truly shocking.
Amongst the bombshell claims, Britney revealed how she was forbidden from marrying long-term love Sam Asghari and even had an IUD (contraceptive device) inserted, “because they don't want me to have any more children”.
No wonder there were celebrations across the globe when the conservatorship was finally scrapped on November 12. Britney’s back!
Surprise re-coupling: Bennifer
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Well, we did not see this coming. Of all the former celeb couples we can think of, we would not have bet our last fiver on these two getting back together.
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck set the gossip world (and each other, judging by their multiple PDAs) alight back in May, rekindling their romance nearly two decades after they first got together.
In the intervening 19 years, they’ve had five kids between them, Twitter and Instagram have been invented and there have been no less than four US presidents. Most shocking of all? Jen, 52, still looks exactly the same.
Funniest TV moment: Alison Hammond, This Morning
She’s known for her infectious laugh, but Alison Hammond was literally doubled over in hysterics after This Morning guest Barry Humphries congratulated her co-host, Dermot O’Leary, on coming out as gay.
Last month, Al, 46, lost it completely after comedian Barry – famous for creating Dame Edna Everage – praised Derm’s “bravery” in telling the world about his sexuality.
Of course, it was a case of mistaken identity, as it was Phillip Schofield, not Dermot, who famously revealed he was gay back in 2020. But we suspect cheeky Barry knew that all along!
Hair icon: Jack Grealish
It wasn’t just the Manchester City star’s footie skills (or those impressive calves) that got us talking during this year’s Euros – it was his fabulously floppy curtains! The Brummie soccer sensation, 26, wowed fans with his bouncy barnet, which looked part-90s boy band and part-David Beckham during his Euro 1996 heyday.
Suddenly men across Britain were rushing out to buy black Alice bands, while Moroccan oil (Jack’s grooming product of choice) was flying off the shelves! The final seal of approval? It was voted sexiest hairstyle on dating app Tinder.
Tear-jerking TV show: It’s A Sin
Nothing could have prepared us for the typhoon of tears that were unleashed as we watched this heart-breaking 1980s-set drama. We found ourselves panic-buying tissues as the six-part series – about a group of young people growing up in the shadow of the AIDS crisis – unfolded, with ever more tragic consequences. The Channel 4 show, from the brain of former Dr Who writer, Russell T Davies, made a star of 31-year-old Olly Alexander and went on to win Best New Drama at the National Television Awards.
If you got through it without blubbing like a baby, your heart is officially made of stone.
Best on-screen partnership: John Whaite and Johannes Radebe
Strictly’s first-ever male pairing became headline news back in August, but viewers soon forgot about any so-called controversy and simply settled down to enjoy this talented twosome work their dancefloor magic week after week.
From their sensual rumba to Sting’s Shape Of My Heart to the fiery Argentine tango that saw them catapulted to the top of the leaderboard, there was no dance this duo couldn’t tackle.
Summing up his Strictly experience, John, 32, said, “This process has taught me that there is far more love in the world than there is hate.”
Feel-good TV moment: Friends: The Reunion
OK, so a whole series of “actual” Friends was what we wanted, but we were happy to make do with this big-hearted celebration of the legendary sitcom. Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matt Le Blanc, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow and Matthew Perry all in the same room at the same time? Yes please!
Our hearts were well and truly warmed back in May as the Central Perk posse reminisced about their time making TV magic together. While not everyone was thrilled James Corden landed the job of hosting the bash, the revelation that Jen and David – aka Ross and Rachel – had a “major crush” on each other back in the day more than made up for it!
TV strop: Patsy Palmer
March wasn’t the best month for the folks at GMB. No sooner had main host Piers Morgan flounced out of the studio never to return after his on-screen clash with Alex Beresford, EastEnders legend Patsy “Rickaaaaay!” Palmer made a sharp exit, albeit virtually, while appearing on the show via zoom.
The actress, who played gobby Bianca Jackson, took offence at an on-screen caption which described her as “Addict to wellness guru”.
Cutting in as co-host Ben Shephard tried to apologise, she said, “I’m not going to talk to you”, before slamming her laptop shut and leaving Ben and Susanna Reid rather red-faced! Awks.
Biggest anticlimax: Line Of Duty season finale
Don’t get us wrong, we love Line Of Duty and we were so here for the many twists and turns of the sixth series. But… that final episode? Flatline of Duty, more like. After weeks of anticipation (is Ted really the mysterious H?) came the least jaw-dropping revelation of all time: H, aka the Fourth Man, was in fact bumbling Det Supt Ian Buckells all along. Hardly the criminal mastermind we were all anticipating.
Still, it was all worth it, if only for Hastings’ immortal line, “Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the wee donkey, can we just move this thing along before it drives us all round the bloody bend?” Ted, that’s kind of how viewers felt after the season finale!
Celeb entrepreneur: Tommy Mallet
The TOWIE star-turned-trainer salesman, 26, proved he’s on his way to becoming Essex’s answer to Alan Sugar after he landed a spot on the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe List, which celebrates young multi-millionaires and entrepreneurs. The dad of one’s footwear company, Mallet London, has raked in £11.8million in sales since it launched six years ago.
Celeb fans include Drake, Craig David and Olly Murs. Not bad going for a bloke who left school with no qualifications and was told by his dad he was “going to be skint” due to his lack of grades.
Amicable exes: Cheryl and Liam
Showbiz splits are rarely harmonious (just ask Katie Price), but it seems Cheryl Tweedy and her baby daddy, Liam Payne, are making a good fist of co-parenting their four-year-old son, Bear. The former Girls Aloud star and ex-One Direction hunk split back in 2018, but it appears there’s no bad blood.
“Cheryl is literally the best person to co-parent with. No stress involved,” gushed Liam, 28, in April. “It’s very, very relaxed, and we spend a lot of time on FaceTime. I’m closer to them than I’ve ever been before, actually, which is really, really nice.” It really, really is, Liam!
Best reunion: Atomic Kitten
Riding the crest of a feelgood wave triggered by this year's Euros, the girlband found themselves back in the charts – and the nation’s hearts – after their 2001 number one, <Whole Again> was adopted as the tournament’s unofficial anthem.
Tash, Liz and Jenny even re-recorded their hit with updated footie-themed lyrics, “Southgate, you're the one / You still turn me on / Football’s coming home again” ahead of the semi-finals. Sadly, it didn’t quite come home for the brilliant England squad, but what a fabulous few weeks of footie it was!
Music collab: Olly Alexander and Elton John at The Brits
Hot on the heels of his star turn as Ritchie in Channel 4 drama It’s A Sin, Olly Alexander got the ultimate seal of approval when Sir Elton John asked him to join him for a sing-song at this year’s awards. Olly, 31, and Elt, 74, were the highlight of the May bash, with the Years And Years star writhing around saucily on Elt’s Joanna as he tinkled his ivories.
The dazzling duo belted out the Pet Shop Boys anthem <It’s A Sin> as a nod to the hit show, with Olly flashing some enviable abs in a lace crop top. Fabulous.
Secret celeb wedding: Pete Sandiford and Paige Yeomans
We normally only see Gogglebox star Pete on screen with his little sister Sophie, so the news he’d secretly married girlfriend Paige back in June – and had a baby – came as quite the surprise!
The telly favourite only let slip he’d tied the knot while at the NTAs in September.
Pete, 26, added that he’d also become a dad, welcoming a little boy called Jimmy. Last month the star shared a snap of himself and Paige on their wedding day on social media, to celebrate their six month anniversary. Pete, you dark horse!
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