Roxanne Pallett and Coleen Nolan – here’s what we can learn from their week of public shaming

Roxanne Pallett and Coleen Nolan.
Roxanne Pallett and Coleen Nolan.
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One week, two remorseful women. Here we take a look at Roxanne Pallett and Coleen Nolan’s attempts at turning around the public’s opinion

In his book So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed Jon Ronson wrote about the things which crop up to unite us in outrage, and how we can now damn a person in 30 seconds thanks to social media. It’s given us a united platform to demonize someone we’ve never met – instantaneously. Ronson writes: “The silenced were getting a voice. It was like the democratization of justice.”

Former Emmerdale actress Roxanne Pallett and Loose Women host Coleen Nolan have both seen the dark side of Twitter justice in the last week, both receiving death threats after their separate television scandals.

The former came under attack for her false accusation that her Celebrity Big Brother housemate Ryan Thomas had punched her “repeatedly” in the ribs, “like a boxer”, causing her huge distress and pain.

This wildly contradicted what the actual footage of the incident showed viewers at home, and they were – rightfully – angry as Pallett dragged a devastated Thomas through the mud. There were over 11,000 complaints to Ofcom.

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Nolan provoked the public’s wrath after an intensely uncomfortable segment on Loose Women last Wednesday in which she argued with Kim Woodburn along with her co-hosts on the show. The nasty attack on Woodburn, in which Nolan called her “vile”, left viewers with a nasty taste in their mouth and over 7000 complained to Ofcom.

There’s one thing to do when it seems like the whole country is united in its hatred for you: go back on television and say you’re sorry. Nolan and Pallett both appealed for absolution with sombre appearances on This Morning (Nolan) and Jeremy Vine and Celebrity Big Brother (Pallett).

This doesn’t solve everything – especially if viewers don’t buy it. Only time will tell if they can turn things around (presumably Coleen will find it easier to come back than Roxanne – in the grand scheme of things, her crimes are less damning).

In the meantime here are some things we can learn from Roxanne and Coleen’s attempts at reparation:

1) Say you’re sorry like you mean it

Pallett’s apology fell flat with viewers of both her interview with Jeremy Vine and Emma Willis. A drawn-looking Pallett said she “massively apologised” to Thomas but it just felt like it too little too late and viewers called it mere damage control.. Willis replied, “Can you imagine if those cameras hadn’t been there? You would have ruined somebody.”

Meanwhile Nolan managed to appeal for sympathy whilst not really showing any remorse for what happened. Having said she regretted the incident Nolan added: “It’s just that, I don’t know what I did wrong. I didn’t say anything. I said about two things in that interview because I know what she’s like and I just thought, she needs help really.”

2) Public tears don’t make your problem go away

“I’m so sorry. I didn’t think I was going to cry,” said Nolan as she poured her heart out to Holly Willoughby on This Morning this week. Viewers weren’t buying it, though. One twitter user wrote: “What a total attention seeker. Turning things round, shedding a few tears and acting as if she’s a victim.” It was the same for Pallett, whose appearances on television on Monday were met with scepticism. One viewer tweeted, “And cue crocodile tears in 5..4..3..2..1”.

3) If in doubt? Hyperbole

During their make or break television appearances both women pulled some extreme statements out of the bag. “I’m the most hated woman in Britain,” Roxanne told Emma Willis, oblivious to the fact we’d just been subjected to almost a week of watching Theresa May do the robot in Africa. “This has been the worst week of my life,” Coleen sobbed to Holly Willoughby. Extra? Yes. Headline grabbing? Also yes.

Both women’s careers have suffered as a result of their behaviour. Nolan revealed on Thursday that she was pulling out of her planned return to Loose Women, saying that she was still “very upset” about the Woodburn incident and viewers are now petitioning for her to be sacked. ‘Punchgate’ has lost Pallett her panto job for this winter, and after being inundated with troll comments she deleted her money-making social media accounts where she previously held lucrative endorsements. This incident has left her largely unemployable.

Nolan and Kim Woodburn began their feud in the CBB house during last year’s series. Pallett went into the house two weeks ago hoping to raise her profile. She did that but in the worst way possible. In future maybe celebs should stick to the slightly less scandal-prone I’m A Celebrity.