Ozzy Osbourne on reality TV: I’m glad we did it… but it was like Beatlemania

Singer Ozzy Osbourne has said the level of fame he and his family achieved during their reality TV series was “like Beatlemania”.

The Black Sabbath frontman and his wife Sharon, alongside children Kelly and Jack, starred in MTV’s The Osbournes from 2002 to 2005.

The singer appears on one of GQ’s January/February 2021 issue covers and also won the lifetime achievement award at GQ’s Men Of The Year Awards held virtually on Thursday night.

When asked if he had worried about the programme affecting his “Prince of Darkness” image, the singer said: “I don’t understand what people saw in it. It wasn’t scripted. Not like [Keeping Up With The] Kardashians. I find it hard to believe that’s not scripted.

“But we just had a camera crew in our house 24/7, 365 days a year, and you end up going f****** nuts. You can’t run off.

“And after three years of filming it the kids were all on drugs, Sharon was battling cancer and so I said to the family, ‘Do we want to carry on?’ and they said, ‘No,’ so we pulled it.”

The couple’s oldest daughter Aimee chose not to appear in the show.

Osbourne, 71, was also asked if he had any regrets about doing The Osbournes.

He said: “I’m glad we did it because we reached a different level of fame. But it was like Beatlemania. It wasn’t fun. I remember going to a McDonald’s to use the bathroom and everyone started chasing me around the car park. I was freaked out.”

The term Beatlemania was first used in connection with the fan frenzy attached to English rock band The Beatles, who were regularly confronted with hordes of screaming, die-hard followers.

Rocker Osbourne, who earlier this year revealed he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, said Sir Elton John is in touch with his wife regularly.

He explained: “Every single week Elton John calls my wife. I’m not one to hang out with this one and that one but he’s become a family friend.”

Star Wars actor John Boyega, actress Michaela Coel and England footballer Marcus Rashford were among the other stars honoured at GQ’s annual awards event.

Hosted by Jack Whitehall, the virtual event also saw Formula One star Lewis Hamilton honoured with the game changer prize.

The January/February 2021 issue of GQ is available via digital download and on newsstands from December 4.