8 of the best (and worst) pop star cameos

Image copyright ITV
Image caption Tony Hadley performed Spandau Ballet’s True on Benidorm

Something old. Something new. Something borrowed. Something True.

As ITV viewers found out on Wednesday, no wedding is complete without a former member of Spandau Ballet belting out a rendition of one of 1983’s biggest hits.

Tony Hadley made a guest appearance in Benidorm as the wedding singer at Joyce and Monty’s big day, much to the delight of viewers.

Once he had performed a heart-warming rendition of True, he treated guests to a bonus performance of Gold as he sped off on the back of a boat.

Hadley is far from the first pop star to make a cameo appearance in a TV show.

Here are eight other great – and not so great – pop star appearances.


1. Ed Sheeran in Game of Thrones

Image copyright HBO/Shutterstock
Image caption “If nothing else, it was better than Galway Girl”

It’s quite nice when you’re riding a horse through the woods and stumble upon Ed Sheeran singing a song to a group of soldiers by a campfire.

Although when Arya Stark did precisely that in an episode of Game of Thrones last year, viewers and critics weren’t quite as enthusiastic.

The Independent described his cameo as “painfully unsubtle”, Forbes said it was a “mistake”, while CNN said it “felt like the kind of stunt to which the series needn’t resort”.

“If nothing else, it was better than Galway Girl,” said The Guardian, trying to find a positive.

It wasn’t Ed’s first cameo appearance in a TV show – he previously appeared (and sang) in a 2015 episode of Home and Away.


2. Cheryl in What to Expect When You’re Expecting

Image copyright Lionsgate

Cheryl’s experience as a judge on a talent show certainly came in handy when she made a cameo appearance as… a judge on a talent show.

The currently un-surnamed singer traded in The X Factor for the fictional Celebrity Dance Factor where she judged the performance of Cameron Diaz’s character in 2012.


3. Rihanna in Bring It On: All or Nothing

Image copyright Alamy

The Bring It On series of films has brought us many stone cold classics – such as Bring It On: In It To Win It and Bring It On: Fight to the Finish.

But it was 2006 masterpiece Bring It On: All or Nothing, starring Hayden Panettiere and Solange Knowles, that gave us a delightful cameo appearance from Rihanna.

Four years before she turned to S&M, a younger and more innocent RiRi was in the film offering a prize to budding cheerleading squads.

Her cameo saw her announcing that the winners of a high-school competition would win an appearance in her new music video.


4. Boy George in The A-Team

Image copyright Alamy

Boy George appeared in a 1986 episode of The A-Team (nothing to do with Ed Sheeran) called Cowboy George.

The convoluted plot involved the singer helping the A-Team escape a mob who are after them because they’ve been framed for killing a sheriff.

Highlights of the episode include Boy George kicking down a door and Mr T dancing to Karma Chameleon.


5. Drake in Anchorman 2

Image copyright Apatow Productions

To be honest, we could do an entire feature on all the cameo appearances in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.

Kanye West, Will Smith, Harrison Ford, Sacha Baron Cohen, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey all crop up in the 2012 film.

Many of them appear in the star-studded battle of the news crews at the end of the Will Ferrell movie.

But Drake’s guest appearance is actually right at the beginning, when his character… err… expresses his approval, shall we say, of Christina Applegate’s figure.


6. Ian Brown and Jarvis Cocker in the Harry Potter films

Image copyright Warner Bros

Hidden deep inside the 19 hours and 40 minutes of Harry Potter films are cameo appearances from some of UK music’s biggest music stars.

Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown and Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker both appear in the big-screen adaptations of JK Rowling’s novels. (Sadly not together.)

Brown is briefly seen stirring a cup of tea in The Prisoner of Azkaban, while Cocker portrayed Myron Wagtail, lead singer of The Weird Sisters, in The Goblet of Fire.


7. Ariana Grande in Scream Queens

Image copyright Fox

As a rule, cameos are generally short.

Ariana Grande’s appearance in comedy-horror show Scream Queens certainly fell into this category, as she was cruelly killed off almost as soon as she had appeared.

The singer appeared Side to Side with the likes of Lea Michele and Emma Roberts when she starred in the show’s 2015 pilot episode.

But her foray into acting was short-lived, as she was murdered by a scarily masked, knife-wielding devil.

However, Ariana brilliantly came back to life just long enough to send out a tweet to her followers to let them know she was being murdered.


8. Snoop Dogg in basically everything

If there was an outstanding contribution to cameos award, Snoop Dogg would win it.

He made a wonderful appearance as himself in 2015’s Pitch Perfect 2 and has also cropped up in Bruno, Entourage, Bones and 2004’s Starsky & Hutch.

His undisputed peak, however, is surely still to come.

The rapper has repeatedly said he’d love to appear in Coronation Street. He first mentioned it during a trip to Manchester in 2010.

We will simply not rest until we’ve seen him ordering a pint in The Rovers Return. Get to work, ITV!

A previous version of this article appeared in March 2017.


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