15 Years Ago Today... 'Cake' Helped Channel 4 Fool Experts And Viewers

Dupees included Noel Edmonds, Jeffrey Archer and Rolf Harris.

It’s exactly a decade and a half since Chris Morris and his ‘Brass Eye’ comrades persuaded a bunch of politicians, ‘experts’ and, naturally, celebrities to join a campaign against a brand new Eastern European drug called ‘Cake’, a pernicious toxin that could affect an area of the brain called ‘Shatner’s Bassoon’.

Are you smelling a rat yet? Because it was all made up, something this bunch of luminaries failed to spot, despite the drug frequently being referred to as “made-up” throughout the show.

Amongst those fooled were Noel Edmonds, Rolf Harris, Jeffrey Archer and Sir Bernard Ingham, many of whom helpfully held up the bright-yellow cake-sized pill as they talked. Comedian Bernard Manning told viewers a fictitious story about how one girl threw up her own pelvis and described how “one kiddy on Cake cried all the water out of his body. Just imagine how his mother felt. It’s a fucking disgrace”.

It was glorious, and obviously drew complaints. To celebrate this special anniversary, here’s a reminder of what went on, plus 14 more controversial cakes from the showbiz world:

Channel 4 Pull The Wool Over These Celebs' 'Brass Eyes'
Channel 5
As part of a segment on the satirical Channel 4 series 'Brass Eye', several celebrities like Noel Edmonds, Rolf Harris and Sir Bernard Ingham appeared in what they thought was a public service announcement for the dangerous new party drug, cake. A concerned Bernard Manning told viewers: "One young kiddie on cake cried all the water out of his body. Just imagine how his mother felt." Embarrassingly for all concerned, it was all a hoax, and cake was actually a fictional drug invented by producers, to parody scare-mongering PSAs. Oh dear...
Ariana Grande Licks A Doughnut
Ariana Grande faced a massive backlash from her most devoted 'Arianators', who threatened to 'un-stan' for her, when she was heard being rude to the servers in a California doughnut shop, and later licked the doughnuts on a tray, in a leaked video. Imagine her fans' surprise when, a day later, it transpired that the same clip also heard her announce: 'I hate America. I hate Americans.'
'GBBO' Iain's Baked Alaska
Undeniably the most controversial 'Great British Bake Off' moment ever, Iain ended up having to throw his Baked Alaska in the bin, with some viewers blaming another contestant, Diana Beard, for taking his dessert out of the freezer too soon. The backlash forced the show's judges and presenters to weigh in on Twitter, leaping to Diana's defence, when she was trolled by viewers, some of whom accused her of sabotage. The cheeky lot.
Kelly Osbourne Tells Lady Gaga: 'Eat My Sh**'
Twitter/Lady Gaga
Gaga tried to put her feud with the Osbourne women to bed, when she appeared on 'The X Factor', posing for a photo with Sharon on what happened to be Kelly's birthday. After posting the cake in this photo to Kelly, the former 'Fashion Police' presenter accused Gaga of 'hypocrisy' on Instagram, telling her to 'eat my sh**'. What a waste of red velvet, eh?
Katie Hopkins' Tweets Take A Less-Than-Sweet Turn
Karwai Tang via Getty Images
When Katie Hopkins first rose to 'prominence' for her tweets, it was mostly to do with celebrity culture, picking fights with z-list celebrities for their appearance or mannerisms. Things took a dark turn, though, during Ramadan in 2014, when she began tweeting images of cakes bearing messages that were deemed by some critics to be Islamophobic, including references to the terrorist organisation, ISIS.
Chris Brown And Rihanna's 'Birthday Cake' Leaves A Bad Taste
Christopher Polk via Getty Images
Rihanna garnered a lot of criticism when she reunited with her ex-boyfriend, Chris Brown, for a new remix of her track, 'Birthday Cake'. Their collaboration faced a massive backlash, largely due to his having violently attacked her at the tail-end of their relationship. Following the controversy that their reunion created, the pair later recorded another track together, titled 'Nobody's Business'.
Charlotte Crosby Lashes Out On 'Celebrity Big Brother'
Channel 5
Charlotte Crosby grew so frustrated that Ron Atkinson had been put up for eviction on her second day in the 'CBB' house that she actually punched a chocolate cake. There's a lot we'll put up with from the 'Geordie Shore' lot, but taking your anger out on baked goods truly takes the biscuit. Or, in this case, the chocolate cake.
Coleen Nolan Puts Her Foot In Her Mouth, Rather Than A Nice Slice Of Cake
The past 12 months have seen a number of controversies hit the 'Loose Women' panel, and earlier this year, it was Coleen Nolan's turn, and her scandalous remarks were - like any good cake - multi-layered. During a discussion about a bakery in Ireland - who had declined to make a cake for a gay marriage rally, claiming it violated their religious beliefs - Coleen drew comparisons between supporting gay marriage and supporting ISIS, which angered some viewers, who felt she'd been flippant with her remarks.
'You Should Have Felt The Impact Of That Pie In My F***ing Face*
Channel 5
Not strictly a cake - forgive us - but we couldn't resist including another moment Coleen Nolan suffered a baking-related faux pas, when she was accused of 'nearly knocking Julie Goodyear's tooth out' with a cream pie in the 'CBB' house. Of course, as viewers will remember, Coleen actually placed the pie very gently in Julie's face, rather than launching it at her full-throttle, despite what the former 'Coronation Street' star later told the rest of the celebrity housemates.
Jennifer Aniston Had Her 'Cake'... But Couldn't Eat It
After Dark/Echo Films
After being confined to romantic comedies for years, Jennifer Aniston had been widely tipped to be enjoying a slice of the Oscars glory with her more serious role in 'Cake'. Sadly when the nominations were announced, earlier this year, the cupboard was bare, and Jennifer Aniston's name was nowhere to be found. Never mind, there's always the possibility of 'Horrible Bosses 3', isn't there?
Not Everyone Wants A Slice Of Kim K
When Kim Kardashian appeared on the cover of Elle's body confidence issue, munching on a cupcake no less, the decision was criticised by some, who felt that, so soon after her infamous 'Break The Internet' magazine cover, she was an unsuitable spokesperson for body image. Others, on the other hand - including HuffPost UK's very own Poorna Bell - defended Kim K, claiming that as long as she's happy in her own skin, we could all look to her as a good example.
Madonna's Debut Awards Show Performance Has Us All In Tiers...
Madonna's career is peppered with controversial performances - whether it's her faux masturbation on the 'Blonde Ambition' tour, kissing Drake at Coachella festival or the unforgettable 'Like A Prayer' music video - but this is where it all began. At the first ever VMAs in 1984, Madonna appeared in a wedding dress to perform her then-new single, 'Like A Virgin', which saw her writhing around the floor and flashing her underwear (trust us, it was shocking at the time. Better yet, the whole thing began with Madonna standing on top of a giant - you guessed it! - wedding cake. Who knew that baking would have such a prevalent place in pop culture history?
Sonia Bites Off More Cake Than She Can Chew In 'EastEnders'
A fictional cake, but a nonetheless memorable one, one of our favourite moments from this year's 'EastEnders' live week came when Kat Slater pushed Sonia's face into a wedding cake. Is it big? No. Is it clever? No? Is it funny? Obviously.
Someone Left Donna Summer's Cake Out In The Rain
She doesn't think that she can take it. 'Cause it took so long to bake it. And she'll never have that recipe again. A-gaaaaaaain.
Marie Antoinette
And don't go thinking that controversial cakes are only for latter-day celebrities. Or, indeed, royals. Despite there now being no historical evidence to suggest it, a popular quote attributed to former Queen of France Marie Antoinette suggested she once said, speaking about the poorer members of society, "let them eat cake", at a time when there wasn't enough bread for them to eat.