Fame is a fickle thing – many people seek it, fewer achieve it, but sometimes what started out as the dream ends up being the nightmare.
They say that there is only one way to go from the top, and that’s all the way down, and for some TV stars, the fall back down to earth from the height of their powers has been all too public and all too tragic.
So with that, here are 10 TV stars that had it all, but fell from grace.
Robert Kilroy-Silk enjoyed success in the 90s as both a TV host and as a politician, having served as both an MP and as the host of his own talk show on the BBC.
But the host found that there was a severe downside to his opinionated character, and had his TV show cancelled when the presenter wrote a racist article in 2004.
He also caused quite a storm of controversy when he insinuated that Marks & Spencer installed mirrors that made women look more flattering.
He found himself at the sharp end of Paul Merton’s wit and anger on Have I Got News for You, and made an appearance on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! in 2008, but since then has disappeared from the public eye to become a novelist.
At one time, as part of the hit TV show Saved by the Bell, Dustin was one of the biggest stars on the small screen.
When the show ended, Dustin was actually one of the few original actors to make the transition to the spin off show: Saved by the Bell: The Collage Years.
So with that in mind, it could either go one of two days, when it came to Dustin’s career. Either he proved that he wasn’t just a one-show wonder with his performance as the dorky Screech, or he was typecast as just that. Unfortunately, it appeared to go down the latter route.
When the spin off flopped and was cancelled after just one season, Dustin was left with precious few offers for work.
In 2006, in perhaps a last ditch effort to cash in on his fame, Dustin directed and released his own sex tape with the least sexy name ever: Screeched – Saved by the Smell. Lovely.
I think it’s fair to say that the singer, actor and comedian Darren Day definitely enjoyed the fruits of his labours and his celebrity status, as he gained a reputation for being quite the party animal and the ladies man.
However, the party had to come an end eventually, and for Day, the show was over when he declared bankruptcy after racking up hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of debt.
And to make matters all the more worse, he had to be treated for alcohol and substance addiction in 2010, and also lost his driver’s license when he crashed his car in Edinburgh.
In recent years, he’s primarily worked on stage and in panto, but it could be argued that his fall from grace has been something from which his career has not truly recovered yet.
A former soap queen Danniella Westbrook made a name for herself when she debuted on EastEnders as Sam, the blonde bombshell and younger sister of hard men brothers Grant and Phil Mitchell.
Her character was at the centre of a lot of drama in the long running BBC soap, but for Westbrook, she was used to drama in her personal life as well.
As a self-confessed cocaine addict, she was been at the centre of some drug controversy in her time, but perhaps her lowest moment occurred when pictures emerged of the soap star with her septum (the middle part between the nostrils) missing.
She left the soap in 1993 at the height of her drug addiction, and has seen her star fall ever since, with numerous rehab stints and even suicide attempts.
Angus Deayton, at one time, was one of the most recognisable faces on TV with his supporting performance in the hit sitcom One Foot in the Grave, as well as being the acid-tongued host of Have I Got News For You from its inception until 2002.
And it was in May 2002 that Angus Deayton’s star came crashing down in one of the most painful and public exposures of ways, when he was caught using cocaine with a prostitute.
And in typical fashion, the team captains of Have I Got News for You Ian Hislop and Paul Merton were absolutely relentless in their mockery of the disgraced host.
Deayton tried to soldier in and take his punishment, but further allegations in the media forced the hand of the BBC, which led to the dismissal of the host.
Since then, his name has been sullied, and he has found his TV opportunities limited ever since.
The comedian and impressionist might be more well remembered these days for playing a distorted version of himself in Extras, as well as Michael the sub-par burglar in Coronation Street, but his career stretches back quite a ways.
During the 80s and 90s, Les Dennis was one of the fixtures on British TV, with his show Family Fortunes regularly bringing in huge numbers.
But his fortunes began to turn downwards when his show was cancelled, and from there he began to fall out of favour with the public after so many years on our screens.
And following the very public and very humiliating breakup of his marriage in 2002, Les Dennis’ reputation took another battering when he appeared on Celebrity Big Brother and bared his soul about his personal and professional break downs in a very intense moment of uncontrollable tears.
He seemed destined to end up as one of those classic TV star downfall stories, but thankfully in more recent years he’s seen his career prospects on the up once again. His performance on Extras was critically acclaimed but it was his performance in Coronation Street that really got the ball rolling. Ever since he left the soap, he’s rarely had a day off, and has had a busy theatre schedule ever since.
Timmy Mallett kept millions of children happy as the host of his own kids TV show, with his wacky and trusty sidekick Pinky Punky.
During the 90s, Mallett was the host of the loved TV early morning show Wacaday and it was a huge success, but when it was cancelled, Mallett found that other work on the small screen didn’t materialise, despite his success.
In the years since, Mallett has made several appearances on reality TV shows such as The Match and I’m A Celebrity, but a TV comeback failed to materialise and now does panto every year.
Theakston at one time was one of the most recognisable faces on British TV, as the versatile presenter was the face of numerous TV shows, such as Live & Kicking and Top of the Pops.
In the late 90s and early 2000s, the presenter was one of the hottest properties in TV, but when a scandal emerged that the presenter had paid for sex at a plush brothel in Mayfair which was reported to include a bondage dungeon, his career took an almighty hit.
And while he now narrates shows such as Motorway Cops, the DJ has failed to recapture the success of his earlier career.
As Dirty Den, Leslie Grantham was one of the biggest soap stars in the world, and was known as arguably the best villain in the history of the genre.
Actor Grantham brought a real sense of menace and danger to his character, and in the process became one of the most recognisable faces in Britain – with the famous scene in which he asks his wife for a divorce in the Christmas episode of EastEnders still being the most watched show in British TV history with over 30 million.
He made his return to the TV soap and the actor seemed to be on top of the world once again, but in 2004 the public were shocked when images were released of Grantham in a webcam video that showed the actor performing a sex act while sucking his finger suggestively.
He was fired from the BBC soap for a second time, and has not been seen much ever since.