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The BIG Drive Home

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Jedward and Naomi to Ian Brown and Jim Corr – the celebs making a COVID stand

Written by on 8 September 2020

It’s a funny old world. Especially on social media.

You stop scrolling for five minutes and the next thing you know, there’s an unlikely sparring match taking place between Jedward and Jim Corr (of being-the-brother-in-The-Corrs fame).

In a Twitter spat, the Irish acts went head-to-head over the wearing of masks in the age of coronavirus.

And they’re not the only celebs publicly discussing all things pandemic. Obviously we’ve had the big Hollywood hitters such as Reese Witherspoon, Lady Gaga and Jennifers Aniston and Lopez encouraging us to #wearadamnmask, and Madonna getting told off for spreading vaccine conspiracy theories, but what about this side of the pond?

Here are some British and Irish stars who have been speaking out.

Jim Corr v Jedward

Okay, we start with the big one. For those following the rules and keeping masks on in the right places, Jedward have become the unlikely heroes of 2020.

More from Coronavirus

The twins – whose real names are John and Edward Grimes – criticised The Corrs guitarist Jim after he expressed support for an anti-mask protest in Dublin – in a Twitter row that got increasingly personal.

Addressing all the demonstrators, as “selfish low lives”, the former X Factor stars turned their attentions to Corr after he posted a video of the protest praising the “great turnout”.

Alongside a poster showing Ireland’s official public health advice on coronavirus, Jedward wrote: “G’wan leave the whole country ‘breathless’ from Covid because of your idiotic behaviour.”

(Breathless, for any non-Corrs fans out there, was a number one hit for the band back in 2000.)

You can read more about the spat here.

Ian Brown

Ian Brown from The Stone Roses headlines the main stage during day 2 of the Isle of Wight Festival at Seaclose Park on June 14, 2013 in Newport, Isle of Wight

The Stone Roses star faced a bit of a backlash on Twitter after a post appeared to suggest he was against not just masks, but coronavirus vaccines and lockdowns, too.

His message – in caps, for the avoidance of doubt – was this: “NO LOCKDOWN NO TESTS NO TRACKS NO MASKS NO VAX #researchanddestroy.”

While the singer got plenty of support, with thousands liking and sharing his tweet, some musicians and other Twitter users said they were “gutted” he was apparently supporting “anti-vaxxer” (anti-vaccine) views.

Ex-bandmate John Squire appeared to counterbalance the tweet with a safety warning, posting: “Wear a mask. stay safe. Look after yourself and others #morecambeandwise.”

The Reverend and The Makers Twitter account posted: “I love Ian Brown so much. Bit gutted he’s tweeted that tbh.”

Another fan replied: “Howay man. I already have to cope with Morrissey being a b*** e**, don’t you start.”

You can read more here

Van Morrison

Van Morrison performs at "A Night At Ronnie Scotts: 60th Anniversary Gala" at the Royal Albert Hall on October 30, 2019 in London, England

The Grammy-winning singer reportedly denounced what he described as “pseudo-science” around COVID-19 in a post that appears to have since been deleted, launching a campaign to save live music.

“I call on my fellow singers, musicians, writers, producers, promoters and others in the industry to fight with me on this. Come forward, stand up, fight the pseudo-science and speak up,” it said, ahead of a socially distanced show.

However, he reportedly said the gig was “not a sign of compliance or acceptance of the current state of affairs” but a chance to get his band “up and running and out of the doldrums”.

Howard Donald

Howard Donald of Take That performs during the 2015 Apple Music Festival at The Roundhouse on September 20, 2015 in London, England

Take That star Howard Donald said he was “fuming” about his four-year-old son apparently being refused a haircut unless he wore a mask.

The singer posted on Twitter to say “Covid is real especially when it comes to old and the vulnerable” but the rules for masks apply to those aged “11 and above”.

Good to see you’ve been reading up on government guidelines, Howard.

“To make little kids wear masks is pure bullsh*t just like the world which is turning into scare mongering bullsh*t regime!

“Please don’t let the governments turn this into a “new normal” otherwise…

“Your kids kids will be asking u why didn’t you allow this crap and where did our freedoms go?

“The hairdresser in question obviously took the scare mongering to a whole new level which unfortunately is where society is going unless we stand for our freedoms back.”

Carol Decker

Carol Decker during ITV's "Hit Me Baby One More Time" - Photocall at ITV Studios in London, Great Britain

When a video of Talk Radio presenter Mark Dolan cutting his face mask up live on air was posted by the station on Twitter, T’Pau star Carol Decker was among the thousands to post a reply.

“Masks are utterly depressing & It breaks my heart to see our school kids in them,” she said.

“I am now worried that @BorisJohnson will not step back from this. I feel sorry for nervous people but we cannot live like this.”

Denise Welch

Denise Welch on stage to present the 'Charity' award at the Rainbow Honours 2019 at Madame Tussauds on December 04, 2019 in London, England

The Loose Woman and actress has shared a picture of herself wearing a mask. However, she has accused the government of “scaremongering” over the pandemic.

A long-term mental health advocate, she says there needs to be a balance between dealing with the effects of the crisis on physical and mental health, and won’t be silenced.

“If the current rise in cases do indeed lead to a rise in hospitalisation and deaths then at least we know that we are not in April,” she tweeted. “We have zero deaths, empty Covid wards and effective treatments for some. That’s all. Don’t be sucked in by the fear. It’s cruel x.”

Naomi Campbell

Just last summer, supermodel Naomi Campbell was widely mocked for sharing her anti-bacterial approach to flying on social media.

Well, who’s laughing now?

Since the start of the pandemic, the star has upgraded from wipes and gloves to a full-on hazmat suit, and at the end of July shared a picture of her new favourite accessory – the “fashionable disinfectant” Naomix.

Joan Collins

If anyone can look fabulous in a mask, it’s Joan Collins.

Like Campbell, the star says she has been ridiculed in the past for her views on hygiene.

“I am big believer in not shaking hands any way or hugging people I don’t know,” she reportedly told presenter Lorraine Kelly in an interview in May.

Excellent advice, Dame Joan.