The McCartney Award For Worst Celebrity Split

Winners: SALLY RIDGE & ADAM PARORE

Spy

reported that celebrity couple

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Adam Parore

and

Sally Ridge

split in February after eight years together, following a dispute over a voice message left on Ridge's mobile phone.

The call leading to the message was believed to have been made accidentally from Parore's phone. Sally moved in with

Nicky Watson

- the friend who had a romantic liaison with her former husband

Matthew Ridge

.

Parore moved to a man-pad at the Viaduct, not far from bachelors

Simon Dallow

and

Don Brash

. He was linked to a string of promo girls and - bizarrely - to Aussie beauty

Lara Bingle

, thanks to some rumours at the time from

Chris Cairns

' Sydney wedding.

The family pile in Ponsonby sold for $6.1m and the assets were divided. The couple's lingerie company, James and August Ltd, went into voluntary liquidation facing $1 million in debts, but that didn't stop Sally's travel bug. She went to Las Vegas to see

Ray Sefo

, Hawaii with the Hotchins and Toronto to watch the New York Yankees.

Another trip with the Hotchins was canned. Then her teenage daughter

Jaime

and her boyfriend

Ben Calvert

were involved in a serious car crash in Tauranga.

It all got too much for the celebrity arts-and-crafts columnist, who got into a slanging match with her ex-husband Ridge over the sleeping arrangements of their teenage daughter and her high-school beau. Ridgey was reportedly struck with a TV remote control.

By all accounts, everything has settled down now. Ridge and his partner

Carly Binding

have welcomed a baby son,

London Luca

; Sally has been romantically linked to a telecommunications millionaire and Parore has embraced a love for mountain-climbing and is planning an expedition to Everest next year.

The Prince Philip Award for Biggest Foot in Mouth

Winner: SIMON DALLOW

Simon Dallow

appeared to struggle with the news his wife had moved on to a new relationship - with a woman. "I don't speak leso," he said dismissively at a Ponsonby party when I asked him about his ex-wife's relationship. Oh dear.

David Hasselhoff Award for Biggest Celebrity Meltdown While Under the Influence

Winner: DAVE FANE

Radio star

Dave Fane

addressed industry execs and advertising clients at the Northern Club in June and

Spy

reported his offensive outburst which led to some colleagues walking out.

Admittedly, he looked like he'd had a few beverages. "I want to eat you, but I won't because I don't want to get HIV," Fane blurted on stage.

"Would you roast an HIV person? You'd roast them because they're expendable. Like the Jews. Hitler had a right, you know."

Many in the crowd, which included

Mike Hosking

,

Kate Hawkesby

,

Jason Gunn

and

Jeremy Corbett

, were in shock.

Two days later Fane told

Spy

he was apologetic, stipulating he was "absolutely not" anti-Semitic and name-dropped

Taika Waititi

as a close mate.

He went on TV with an emotional and subdued apology and sent letters to the NZ Jewish Council and the NZ Aids Foundation. Radio bosses responded by suspending him from his Flava radio show for a week. The matter is all forgiven now. Fane's moved on with his media career intact.

The Marie Antoinette Let Them Eat Cake' Award For Ignoring The Cries of the People and Partying Anyway

Winner: AMANDA & MARK HOTCHIN

Father-of-five

Mark Hotchin

toured the country in February in a peacemaking gig that the UN would be proud of, trying to convince angry Hanover investors to accept the Allied deal.

They cried: "We've lost our home! We have to move to a unit!" Hotchin nodded understandingly, as if sharing their pain, hearing their wails, feeling their grief. Yet work continued on the multi-million-dollar monstrosity he was building on Parasite Drive with the 13-car garage, theatre, tennis court, cellar, lift and games room that includes a dance floor.

Those digs have been on the market for sale, but this week the Securities Commission froze all his New Zealand assets. They've appointed him an allowance of $1000-a-week (the same as troubled Timaru businessman

Alan Hubbard

) to cover rent, mortgage payments, legal costs and household expenses. But Hotchin reckons that's not enough to live off.

In February, he had the nerve to turn up to the New Zealander of the Year Awards with his impeccably groomed wife Amanda. They're seldom seen now. The Hotchins are persona non grata in Auckland society circles. They took off to Hawaii with trainer

Michael Legg

in tow. Then it was on to Rome.

Now The Hotchins are exiled in a modest townhouse in Mermaid Beach on the Gold Coast. He was sprung last month at the Thrifty car rental desk at Auckland Airport wearing the AWOL-in-Oz corporate uniform of unironed cargo shorts and polo T-shirt. He cut a tragic figure escaping from

Campbell Live

reporter Tristram Clayton by heading into the men's loos. But he can't hide away from ongoing questions by investigators.

If this year was a bad one for The Hotch, next year doesn't look any better.

The Silvio Berlusconi Award for Most Vain Politician

Winner: RODNEY HIDE

Former fatty

Rodney Hide

, who positively vanished in size, attributes his lard loss to diet and exercise, though political insiders joke that came at a cost of $25,000.

His vanity even stretched to fake tan and veneers. But colleagues questioned whether his winter tanning schedule had had one fake bake too many when the minister's tongue could be seen darting across his lips like a lizard in a vain attempt to rehydrate.

With a young, pregnant wife 21 years his junior (the pair wed yesterday), it's no surprise Hide wins the gong for biggest narcissist.

The Tiger Woods Award for Best Secret Sex Life of a Sports Star

Winner: DAN CARTER

Dan Carter

proposed to

Honor Dillon

in October after eight long years together, but in March speculation about his sex life drew raised eyebrows.

Carter and five Crusaders teammates were busted buying sex toys at adult store Peaches & Cream in Christchurch. The AB's representative told

Spy

the items were for a gift basket for a Crusader team-mate.

I don't know about you, but grown men buying sex toys for a friend is so high-school, isn't it? "He wasn't embarrassed," the saleswoman said. "If you're going to come into an adult store and you're in the limelight and you didn't want people to know, you'd put a disguise on."

She said Carter had visited the sex store before - "about two years ago" - at a different Christchurch location. The Peaches & Cream employee said Carter had asked about buying the We Vibe vibrator.

"It's our most popular vibrator," she told him.

Carter's rep denied he bought personal items. However, the saleswoman made a record of the visit on her Facebook page: "Hmmm I'm in lust ... Nothing like six hot Crusaders players to make your day!! Now I know what Dan is into!!"

Most Missed Winner: PAUL HENRY

Loathe him if you must, but I've had the pleasure of getting to know

Paul Henry

and he's one of my favourite TV people. Which admittedly isn't saying much, because a lot of them are pricks.

Yes, he's opinionated, mischief-making and a natural performer in that look-at-me kind of way. And yes, he's a bit old-fashioned (he still drinks Kahlua and Baileys) but he doesn't apologise for it.

He's also fiercely intelligent and fun-loving. It was sad to see him go from TVNZ's

Breakfast

. People call him a national treasure. TV is certainly a duller place without him to spice things up. But with the prospect of stardom and a hit reality TV series in LA, who's having the last laugh?

The Helen Reddy I-Am-Woman-Hear-Me-Roar' Award for Female Empowerment

Winner: ALISON MAU

She skyrocketed on to the celebrity radar earlier this year after

Spy

revealed her relationship with

Karleen Edmonds

.

Before that, she was the Stepford wife of

Simon Dallow

and the all-too-perfect presenter at TVNZ.

But post-lesbian love match,

Ali Mau

instantly morphed into the most interesting celeb in the country. Fast-forward eight months, and Mau was a lot more at ease with the public profile of her bisexuality, meeting this columnist for breakfast, with her pretty partner in tow.

The pair had officially come out at the Queen of the Whole Universe drag pageant. Mau said she was taking Edmonds to Los Angeles as an early Chrissie present and the pair planned to spend Christmas Day with her kids -

Paris

and

Joel

- with Mau's family in Melbourne.

Alison Mau is our pick for Woman of the Year. She found love and pursued it, even though it potentially jeopardised her squeaky-clean celebrity image. We respect her for it. There's no doubt her new relationship has made her more real and appealing. Her celebrity star burns even brighter.

The Angelina Jolie Award for Most Concerned Global Citizen

Winner: MIKE McROBERTS

We may have poked a bit of fun at him for being so serious when he reported from a hospital in earthquake-damaged Haiti, but

Mike McRoberts

is our pick for Man of the Year.

From Port-au-Prince, to Bangkok, Christchurch and Greymouth, the TV3 anchor was our man on the ground this year, reporting live from the field. We would have been lost without him.

He is the king of natural-disaster journalism, often seen brandishing a flak jacket and helmet, but very rarely flappable - except, maybe, when he let rip at his network's coverage of the Canterbury earthquake.

We hope this conflict correspondent took our ribbing as the friendly fire it was intended. McRob is our McHero. We admire him immensely. The McRoberts clan has another star talent. His wife,

60 Minutes

reporter

Paula Penfold

, broke one of the biggest stories of the year about the defence force chief scientist who turned out to be a fake and a flake.

Watch out Mike, she may steal your crown!

The Heather Mills Award for Biggest Self-Promoter

Winner: CHARLOTTE DAWSON

We all know the celebs who excel at self-promotion and media manipulation.

Charlotte Dawson

, 44, is at the top of the class.

From the hair extensions to the Botox, plastic surgery, adoption, sex-tape spat, reality TV shows, mean Kiwi media who drove her to Oz, plus-sized modelling, psychic celibacy messages, ruptured breast implants and online dating using a fake name, every episode in the life of La Dawson seems to have passed as an opportunity to stay in the spotlight and snap up column inches.

We hope this doesn't change in 2011. What would we do without her?

The Karl Lagerfeld Award for Best Fashion Bitching

Winner: DENISE L'ESTRANGE-CORBET

Princess Anne

, 59, arrived at a private cocktail reception at the Hilton Hotel in March wearing an ill-fitting jacket in the unflattering shade of neon tangerine with a matronly hair-bun set so rigid it appeared like a beret.

British-born fashion designer

Denise L'Estrange-Corbet

described the royal as: "Boring as f***ing bat sh**! The world's hairdressers at your beck and call and your hair looks like a cottage loaf! And personality minus! No wonder Diana left them all for dead."

Spy

's story went online and around the world, prompting the British press to jump to the Princess Royal's defence. "It's very unusual for guests at an official function to be so personally critical of a member of the royal family," said

Richard Palmer

from Britain's

Express

.

Royal biographer

Penny Junor

whined: "She's not gone to New Zealand to look like a mannequin."

Celebrity babies

Danielle Cormack

and her boyfriend

Pana Hema-Taylor

- 19 years her junior - welcomed a boy this year.

So did

Wendy Petrie

,

Carly Binding

and

Matthew Ridge

.

Luke McAllister

and his partner

Amanda

celebrated the birth of a boy too, as did TV3 political editor

Duncan Garner

and his partner

Deanna Delamare

who welcomed baby

Buster

.

Jonah Lomu

and

Nadene Quirk

had little

Dhyreille

(pronounced D-ray) and

Dean

and

Mandy Barker

celebrated the birth of their little man in October - after three daughters.

Bernadine Oliver-Kerby

had a little girl in August. And

Marc Ellis

and

Jeremy Wells

also celebrated the birth of baby daughters. The stork was busy.

Best Before-She-Was-Famous Award

Winner: WENDY PETRIE

The year was 1987. When

Kylie Minogue

did the Locomotion and

Peter Jackson

was doing

Bad Taste

.

Maggie Thatcher

was up and the Rainbow Warrior was down. As in sunk. So was the stock market.

And the woman who was to become New Zealand's television news sweetheart was modelling rompers at her high school fashion parade.

Wearing white pumps, a hair scrunchie and dangly earrings only

Christine Rankin

would covet, 16-year-old

Wendy Petrie

strutted down the catwalk at Manurewa High, modelling the fashion trends of the day. Who would have guessed a television studio on Victoria St would be beckoning?

Best Love Match Across the Divide

Winners: GREG BOYED AND AMANDA GILLIES

TV3's Aussie correspondent

Amanda Gillies

and TV One's

Greg Boyed

found love despite the rivalry across the stations.

His chin dimple and her ponytail are the accessories du jour of network news. They smooched for our camera and he proposed on Valentine's Day at her favourite restaurant. Bless.

She was even Spy-ed clapping enthusiastically while her man channelled Springsteen, strumming and singing onstage at TVNZ's Christmas bash.

The Leonie Brookhammer Award for Flexing Her Muscles

Winner: NICKI DE VILLIERS

Little-known

Nicki de Villiers

flexed her misguided sense of power after

Spy

named the venue where

Dave Fane

let rip a tirade of abuse against Jews, homosexuals and people with HIV.

The Northern Club manager took exception to the hoity-toity club being named, so banned me for life.

Evidently she didn't take exception to the racist slurs because Fane wasn't banned. Neither was NZ Herald reporter

Anne Gibson

who had named the elitist club 14 times in the daily paper and never faced the wrath of management.

John Key

, who grew up in a state house, laughed and told me being banned from the posh private club was something I should be proud of. "It's a badge of honour," he said.

The Sarah Palin Award for Worst Mama Grizzly Bear

Winner: RACHEL HUNTER

My exclusive interview in April with mother-daughter duo

Rachel Hunter

and

Renee Stewart

was peppered with do and don't-ask questions.

If the Pantene reps weren't coming down on me like a ton of bricks, protective mama Rachel was monopolising the interview. "It's good to work with mum," Renee piped up.

Hunter allowed that one through. Her 17-year-old daughter, who swishes her mane and dances in the TV hair commercial alongside her famous mother, said she had no desire to dance in a music video with her famous crooning dad, Rod.

"Their dad is very awesome," said Mama Grizzly. "He's very normal. He leads a very normal life, well, normal in the sense of his values and morals."

I couldn't help wondering if he was a little more normal when it came to the over-protective parent part.

Best break-ups

It's fair to say 2010 has been more the year of the celebrity bubs than the celebrity break-up.

Sure,

Sam Hayes

split from

Arthur Meek

, but our money was never much on that union lasting.

Claire Chitham

and

Mikey Havoc

split up earlier this year, calling a halt on their marriage.

Keisha Castle-Hughes

announced her split from

Bradley Hull

in that most celebrity of forums: Facebook. He was in denial for some time, while Keisha moved on to aspiring rapper

Michael Graves

(aka Mic G).

Celebrity weddings

Aja Rock

married

David Southcombe

in March at a Queenstown winery. She celebrated her hens' weekend aboard the Mardi Gras flight to Sydney.

Also in Sydney was former international cricketer

Chris Cairns

, who married for the third time at Vaucluse House.

Mel Croser

was the blushing bride and he proposed on her birthday with an iced cake that rhymed: "My sweet Melanie, will you marry me?"

Adam Parore

and his daughter

Mclane

were in the bridal party.

Meanwhile, weathergirls

Renee Wright

and

Toni Marsh

got hitched - Wright with a wedding cake from Porirua New World; and Marsh at a remote, rugged resort near Waiuku.

The TV3 weathergirl and her partner

Paul Gunn

are expecting their first child next year.

-Herald On Sunday / View