In Depth

Ed Sheeran in Game of Thrones - and five other cringeworthy cameos

The singer's awkward appearance in Westeros provoked mirth from GoT fans

Ed Sheeran is in the spotlight for a "dire" cameo appearance in the much-anticipated series seven premiere of Game of Thrones.

Fans expecting him to make a splash will be disappointed, says The Guardian's Stuart Heritage. In the end, the singer's character "was just a boy, eating a rabbit, who happened to be chanced upon by Arya Stark". 

The writers did, however, shoehorn in a chance for Sheeran to sing a campfire ditty, resulting an excruciating moment in which Arya tells him, "That's a pretty song", to which he replied: "It's a new one."

Unimpressed viewers took ridiculed the awkward guest spot:

So where does Sheeran rank in the annals of misjudged celebrity cameos? Here are a few of the worst:

David Beckham - King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Guy Ritchie's mockney take on the King Arthur legend got generally lacklustre reviews, but the unexpected appearance of former England captain David Beckham proved especially aggravating to critics.

The decision to cast his real-life pal Becks in the film's pivotal scene as Arthur retrieves Excalibur from the stone is a "towering misjudgement", says New Statesman, and suggests that "filmmaking for Ritchie is really just an extension of socialising".

Madonna - Die Another Day

Madonna's acting talents have not always received the kindest critical reception, although it hasn't stopped her amassing a lengthy CV including such classics as Body of Evidence and Desperately Seeking Susan.

Not content with singing the titular theme song for 2002 Bond outing Die Another Day, Madonna also put in an "unspeakably flat and awkward" cameo as a fencing instructor, says Digital Spy. On the bright side, "at least it was reserved for the worst James Bond film of all time". 

Quentin Tarantino - Django Unchained

A Quentin Tarantino cameo is precisely no-one's favourite part of a Tarantino movie, but that hasn't stopped him from casting himself over and over again, appearing in films from Pulp Fiction to Inglorious Basterds.

His appearance in runaway slave epic Django Unchained was a particular clanger. Why Tarantino thought he should play an Australian remains a mystery, but at least it gave viewers a chance to hear a unique accent which veers between South Africa and the Deep South without ever quite reaching Oz.

M. Night Shyamalan - Signs

Another director who can't resist the urge to cast himself in his own films, regardless of trivial matters like talent or suitability, is twist-master M. Night Shyamalan.

As homesteader Ray Reddy in alien invasion thriller Signs, Shyamalan is not only a "very wooden actor," says The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw, but also the "most unlikely-looking farmer I have ever seen in my life". 

Alan Shearer - Goal!

If Vinny Jones' dreadful (if mercifully brief) turn as Juggernaut in X-Men: The Last Stand wasn't evidence enough, Alan Shearer's cameo in Goal is case in point that footballers and acting rarely mix.

You'd think playing himself might make things easier, but if anything it makes it worse, says Games Radar. "As anyone who's ever sat through Shearer's monotonous MOTD droning can attest, he's not much of a performer". 


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