Beyoncé and Lizzo's re-recorded lyrics
Beyonce. Beyoncé and Lizzo's re-recorded lyrics
Image: Instagram

We all make mistakes in life, and generally we try to fix them, apologise and move on.

But that can be a bit more difficult if you're famous, when the silly, puzzling or inadvertently offensive thing you've done was in the glare of the public eye.

In many ways, celebrities perform a vital function, partly by providing material for the rest of us to dissect, praise, criticise and make into memes.

But also because high-profile gaffes help us feel better about the mistakes we all make, and our celebrities seem more human and relatable as a result.

With affection rather than malice, here are 15 flops, errors, blunders, misfortunes and own goals from 2022.

1. Batgirl being cancelled

There is nowhere better to start than a $90m (£75m) film that reportedly tested so poorly with audiences that Warner Discovery canned it altogether.

Choosing to write Batgirl down as a financial loss instead of releasing it meant the company could at least save some money on tax.

We felt sad for those who poured their hearts into the film, particularly In The Heights star Leslie Grace, who was set to take the lead role.

And while many fans were keen or at least intrigued to see it, perhaps the company's CEO David Zaslav should be applauded for taking such a close interest in quality control. "We're not going to put a movie out unless we believe in it," he explained.

2. Rebekah Vardy's libel action

The twists and turns of the so-called Wagatha Christie trial provided a distraction from the war-dominated news agenda this spring, and material for numerous podcasts, documentaries, TV dramatisations and a West End show.

While Mrs Vardy felt she had a case, and the abuse she received online was horrible and shouldn't be condoned, she ended up with an estimated £3m legal bill after the judgement went against her.

The Guardian described it as one of the "all-time great self-inflicted legal defeats".

3. Graham Norton's Eurovision card

In October, all eyes were on The One Show as viewers waited to find out whether Glasgow or Liverpool would be hosting Eurovision 2023.

Graham Norton was about to reveal the winning host city, building the tension with the kind of needlessly long pause that is standard when announcing anything on television.

Tension which would have been palpable if some viewers hadn't already spotted the words "Eurovision Song Contest Liverpool 2023" on the back of his card.

4. Holly and Phil not queuing

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby attracted criticism when they visited Queen Elizabeth II lying-in-state without having to join the 20-hour public queue outside. The presenting pair were there to report on the event for ITV's This Morning.

Did the duo technically do anything wrong? Of course not. They were granted a standard press viewing alongside hundreds of other journalists over several days.

But the fact that they were probably the most famous of those in the press pen made them a target, and many were quick to juxtapose their appearance with other celebrities seen queuing outside, such as David Beckham.

5. Miriam Margolyes being booked as a live guest

TV and radio producers know Margolyes can be a liability when it comes to live broadcasting, and so it proved when she was invited to pay tribute to the late Robbie Coltrane on BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

After a beautiful and eloquent reflection on Coltrane's career, Margolyes decided to end the interview by sharing her unambiguous thoughts about newly installed Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who had been in the studio moments before her.

The presenters became flustered as the sound of marmalade toast hitting the floor ricocheted across the country.

"Nobody would believe me, but I did not know the microphone was on," she later told the Times. "I just died inside, I was mortified."

6. The attempted Spotify boycott

Joni Mitchell and Neil Young were among the artists who removed their music from Spotify in January in protest at the streaming service's deal with podcast host Joe Rogan, who was accused of spreading misinformation about Covid-19 vaccines.

A "boycott Spotify" movement followed on social media, with users threating to cancel their subscriptions if the streamer didn't cut ties with Rogan. But Spotify kept its ties firmly in tact.

While the artists in question were taking a principled stand, the coverage arguably proved there's no such thing as bad publicity. Spotify subscriptions grew and Rogan claimed his listener base increased by two million.

However, Rogan did announce that he would try to offer more balanced views on his podcast in the future.

7. Beyoncé and Lizzo's re-recorded lyrics

Beyoncé presumably had not been paying attention to the news when Lizzo faced a barrage of criticism for using an ableist slur in her lyrics, because Queen Bey used the same word herself in a song two months later.

Some reports noted the offensive slur isn't considered quite as offensive in America and its usage is slightly more common as a result.

Nonetheless, it still wasn't a good look - so both stars re-recorded the lines in question following the backlash.

8. Damien Hirst burning his own art

Hirst is no stranger to publicity stunts, but many criticised him for burning his own valuable artworks during a cost-of-living crisis as part of a project that saw collectors forced to choose whether to keep a physical artwork or the NFT representing it.

"It's almost like Damien Hirst is so out of touch with the real world that he's basically transcended to another plane of existence, populated only by oligarchs and the once-edgy artists they collect," wrote Time Out's Eddy Frankel.

"Still, look at it this way, even if you can't afford to turn on your heating at home, just go to Newport Street Gallery: it's free and it should be nice and toasty with all those £20,000 paintings on fire."

9. Adele's Vegas residency 1.0

The singer's initial run of dates was abruptly cancelled, with Adele telling fans through tears it wasn't ready due to a slew of pandemic-related delays, just 24 hours before the first show was due to take place.

This was less-than-welcome news to the fans who had already arrived in Vegas and paid for their flights and accommodation.

But 11 months later, the shows triumphantly came to fruition, with the singer telling fans she was "ecstatic" to kick off the residency.

10. Elon Musk's fluid approach to governing Twitter

The rules of Twitter were changing on a daily basis when the Tesla founder took over in October and introduced policies such as charging for blue ticks.

(We know it's technically a white tick on a blue background, please don't tweet us to complain.)

Many people announced they were leaving Twitter in protest over the turmoil and setting up accounts elsewhere.

The vast majority of those people returned to Twitter four minutes later and remained on it for the rest of the year.

11. Krishnan Guru-Murthy being caught on mic swearing

The Channel 4 News presenter was heard uttering an offensive word about a government minister in a live online feed which wasn't actually broadcast on TV.

However, it inevitably spread far and wide on social media and led to a week-long suspension.

Guru-Murthy apologised within minutes of being caught, which was classy, but his suspension coincided with a Tory leadership race and meant the network's leading news anchor missed out on covering the appointment of a new prime minister.

12. Waitrose re-editing its advert

The supermarket's Christmas TV advert showed two farmers comparing their sun tans - something that was criticised by skin cancer patients and charities.

The grocer said it was "sorry for the upset caused" and later confirmed it would be using an updated version of the ad to "address the concerns".

13. Bros, Amsterdam, Lightyear and She Said

Some films cost a lot of money to make, which makes their failure at the box office all the more painful.

This year had its fair share of flops - with star vehicles such as Amsterdam (starring Margot Robbie and Christian Bale) recording huge financial losses.

But the sad thing is, several of this year's box office bombs were actually pretty good films.

Bros was an excellent, hilarious and ground-breaking gay romcom, while She Said was a terrific dramatisation of the Harvey Weinstein investigation.

And while Lightyear was disappointing after the excellent Toy Story series, it certainly wasn't as bad as its critics or box office performance suggested.

14. Viola Davis playing Michelle Obama

The poor reaction to the actress's portrayal of Michelle Obama led her to speak candidly about feeling stung by poor feedback.

She acknowledged the response in an interview with the BBC, but said it was "incredibly hurtful when people say negative things about your work".

We take our hats off to Davis for acknowledging the criticism, which she described as an "occupational hazard".

"How do you move on from the hurt, from failure? But you have to. Not everything is going to be an awards-worthy performance."

15. The Don't Worry Darling press tour

Will we ever know what truly went on between Florence Pugh, Harry Styles and Olivia Wilde behind the scenes of this not-brilliant movie? Probably not.

One thing is for certain, though - all the paracetamol in the world would not cure the headache that the A-listers' behind-the-scenes shenanigans caused to the film's PR team.

Luckily for them, it didn't matter - Pugh's reluctance to plug Don't Worry Darling on her social channels or take part in the vast majority of its promotional events only made the narrative all the more fascinating to fans and journalists.

That prompted even more publicity, resulting in the film performing relatively well at the box office.