MSN UK and Bing reveal the most defining moments and searched-for celebrities of 2010

2010 has been the frenetic year of kiss ‘n tells with Tiger Woods, Wayne Rooney, John Terry and Ashley Cole all hitting the headlines, England’s shoddy performance in the World Cup, the X Factor’s Gamu-gate, the end of Big Brother and a royal wedding announcement. But, what does the nation consider to be the top ranking alternative moments that defined this momentous year?

In an alternative look at 2010, Microsoft has analysed the top search terms ranked by its millions of users on search engine, Bing (, and polled users of its leading news and entertainment portal, MSN UK (, to reveal what really got the nation going in 2010.

Lucy Mapstone, MSN Celebrity Editor, says: “As the nation’s sweetheart and a judge on The X Factor, it’s no surprise that Cheryl Cole’s love life has dominated internet searches. Her high profile split with Ashley and speculation around her close friendship with Derek Hough, who comforted her when she contracted malaria earlier this year, have both led to a great deal of public interest in who she’s dating.”

“Conversely, MSN UK polled 3,000 Brits and discovered Liz Hurley and Shane Warne proved to be the most shocking celebrity couple of the year. Furthermore, half of respondents thought Dawn French and Lenny Henry’s split after 25 years of marriage was the most surprising break-up.  Two years is a long time in celebrity terms, so 25 years is an eternity. One in three crowned newly-engaged Prince William and Kate Middleton their favourite couple of 2010, which just goes to show Brits love a good fairytale. Roll on the royal wedding in April!”

Laura Simpson, MSN Content Manager, Homepage and news, says: “Brits love an unexpected news story, particularly if a politician is involved.  Gordon Brown calling a voter a ‘bigoted woman’ during his election trial was bound to generate searches, especially as the majority of people expected it to be his last bid for Prime Minister.”  

“However, nearly a third (30%) of MSN UK users think the political shock of the year is the increasing university fees and the recent student riots that have followed.  It is an issue that continues to cause great controversy and impacts on everyone from future generations to parents who are funding their children’s education. But strong opinion over the coalition will no doubt continue to drive the news agenda in the New Year.”

Lucy Mapstone, MSN Celebrity Editor, says: “2010 has been a year of scandal and allegations, with numerous high-profile affairs rocking the celebrity world.  Wayne Rooney and Tiger Woods are sporting superstars so their love lives are bound to be of great public interest and be top Bing searches.  Tiger’s live public admission and grovelling apology to family and fans scored him another ten minutes in the spotlight, but who knows whether he can earn back the respect and adoration he once had.”

“Nearly half (48%) of MSN UK users also voted Tiger and Wayne’s alleged affairs as the most shocking celebrity scandals of 2010. While Elin kicked Tiger out and gave an exclusive interview to People magazine, Coleen Rooney has stuck by her man, who has just signed another contract with Manchester United, so here’s hoping 2011 is the fresh start they need. In third place, with 17% of the vote is Take That’s Mark Owen who caused a stir and broke a million hearts when he admitted cheating on his wife earlier this year.  But will the kiss ‘n tell pages be less controversial next year?”

Lorna Cooper, MSN TV Editor, says: “Proving that no publicity is bad publicity, Bing’s most searched for TV show is Daybreak, despite flagging ratings. Change is never popular and dedicated followers of GMTV seem to have found it hard adjusting to the new format of the breakfast show. Yet, interest in the show’s hosts, particularly Christine Bleakley, could account for a spike in online searches. It’s no surprise that number two in Bing’s most searched for TV shows of 2010 is tan-tastic, The Only Way is Essex, which has gained a cult following, put Essex on the map and educated the British public in the art of ‘vajazzling’.”

“Meanwhile, 28% of MSN UK users have coined ITV’s period drama, Downton Abbey, the best new show, followed closely by BBC1’s Sherlock (24%), which has made Benedict Cumberbatch a household name.  The favourite TV moment of 2010 was Coronation Street’s dramatic tram crash, testament to the money invested in creating the ultimate 50th Anniversary storyline.  Proving that Simon Cowell hasn’t lost his touch, nearly half (45%) of those polled have voted The X Factor their favourite reality show. It will be interesting to compare The American X Factor to the British version when it launches next year and to see if speculated judge and national treasure, Cheryl Cole, can achieve world domination and crack America.”


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