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The Gosselins became famous, bickered, separated and badmouthed each other. Inescapable. (Laura Pedrick)
The Gosselins became famous, bickered, separated and badmouthed each other. Inescapable. (Laura Pedrick)

Television

The 10 most irritating people of 2009 Add to ...

Well, there's nice, there's naughty and then there is deeply, abidingly irritating.

That's the way it is. Nothing changes, year after year. The faces may change, but there is always another irritating fool, blowhard, hypocrite or self-aggrandizing idiot. Pipsqueaks who keep squeaking and squawking. Television attracts them, bloats their egos and enables their idiocy. If television has created a global village then it's a village with an abundance of idiots.

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TV is a battleground. The nice and the pests battle it out. Oh sure, it's best to think of the feel-good moments. There was contestant No. 4,321, who strolled onto a stage in April to audition for Britain's Got Talent . Days later, contestant No. 4,321, one Susan Boyle, was an international celebrity. Soon, more people had seen Boyle singing I Dreamed A Dream than had watched the Academy Awards.

Sweet. But we are duty-bound to name the boneheads, nitwits and swelled-heads of the year now ending. You might be soft-hearted. You might be tolerant. But you know you like it - herewith, the 10 most irritating people (TV-related) of 2009.

1. The Gosselins

For several years they existed on the outer fringes of TV, on a TLC show called Jon & Kate Plus 8 . We were all, like, "Whaddever!" Then we were in line at Shoppers Drug Mart, having failed to find the specials again, and we saw the magazine covers. Apparently she was shagging the body guard, and he was shagging an elementary-school teacher. Over the months, the Gosselins became inescapable. The two fame-whores separated, bickered and bad-mouthed each other. He took up with bikini-clad bimbos and she got furious about the bank accounts. By the time this week rolled around Jon Gosselin was, reportedly, broke. Not a cent. Collecting bottles and cans for the moolah to pay the lawyers, or something. Excellent. Happy holidays, fella.

2. David Letterman

"I have a little story that I would like to tell you," he began. The audience laughed. Soon enough, the laughter stopped. Everyone got very uncomfortable. A story about attempted extortion and a grand-jury appearance was told in an ungainly manner. "I have had sex with women who work for me on this show," he said. It took days before he actually apologized. Then the jokes returned. Man is 62 years old. Grow up, leave the young interns alone. Ick.

3. The Grey Power Woman

The most reviled commercial on Canadian TV featured a woman going bonkers in a car. We all came to know and loathe her. The sheer hell of listening to her shrieking and then this: "You don't drive like her ... Why pay the same insurance premiums as her?" By year's end, Grey power had, at last, a new commercial. That woman went away. Obviously, there is a God who looks after us. The memory remains, though.

4. Jillian Harris

The Canadian Bachelorette, known as "hot-tub Harris" in some circles, from her appearance as a potential love-interest on The Bachelor . The first Bachelorette from Canada. Announced she can tell everything about a guy by observing his choice of hot-dog toppings. Some guy swept her away, thank goodness. But she will be back. Harris is on the new edition of The Bachelor in January, offering advice to the ladies. Hot-dog toppings feature, probably.

5. Kanye West

Interrupted that nice Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards and declared that Beyoncé should have won Swift's award. Went on Jay Leno's Show and apologized clumsily, saying, among other thing, "But I need to, after this, take some time off and just analyze how I'm going to make it through the rest of this life, how I'm going to improve. Because I am a celebrity, and that's something I have to deal with." Yes, it was all about him.

6. Carrie Prejean

Evangelical Christian, anti-gay-marriage, sex-tape and topless-photo star. God bless America for producing media stars like you and reminding us why there is no need to make up stuff about the United States.

7. Greg Gutfeld

Host of the late-night Fox News Channel chat show Red Eye . Mocked Canada and its military engagement in Afghanistan and encouraged his panelists to do the same. Then declined to personally explain or apologize, leaving that job to a Fox publicist. And this guy dissed the Canadian military?

8. Everyone on CBC's The National

Sit down already. You're giving us the heebee-jeebies. Just. Sit. Down. Okay: Please, pretty-please, sit down.

9. Michael Ignatieff

Sat in the woods and blinked at the sunlight in a Liberal Party commercial. Like a furry little critter. The opinion polls told the rest of the story.

10. Don Cherry

Shut up, already. A novel idea, we know. But you're barking mad. Yes, you are.

Follow on Twitter: @MisterJohnDoyle

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