TV bosses take gamble on unpredictable Alec Baldwin
OUTSPOKEN actor and TV personality Alec Baldwin has reportedly been given his own weekly show on left-leaning US cable channel MSNBC.
But will the infamously fiery actor be able to hold his temper in front of the camera?
Just weeks ago Baldwin, 55, hit headlines across the world for his rant against Daily Mail journalist George Stark, who wrote an article alleging that his wife, 29-year-old yoga teacher Hilaria Thomas, had been tweeting mundanities about making smoothies and shopping during actor James Gandolfini's funeral.
Aside from being incendiary and full of swear words, Baldwin's Twitter tirade drew criticism for being homophobic. He threatened the journalist, calling him a "toxic little queen", and telling him: "[I'd] put my foot up your f**king ass, George Stark, but I'm sure you'd dig it too much."
Baldwin later apologised for his "ill-advised attack", saying it had no homophobic implications. "[It] had absolutely nothing to do with issues of anyone's sexual orientation. As someone who fights against homophobia, I apologise," he said.
But Baldwin's tirade was just one of many incidents involving the hot-headed actor's short temper.
In 1995 he was placed under citizen's arrest for slugging a cameraman, and in 2011 he was ejected from an American Airlines flight for refusing to shut down a game on his phone before take-off.
Alec Baldwin attends James Gandolfini's funeral in New York Alec Baldwin arriving at James Gandolfini's funeral in New York
If that wasn't enough to get MSNBC bosses worried, in 2007 Baldwin left a vitriolic voicemail for his own daughter Ireland, calling her a "rude, thoughtless little pig".
Despite recent criticism levelled at the 30 Rock actor for making homophobic comments, Baldwin is better known for his liberal political views- which are rumoured to feature heavily in his new show.
It's just as well the show is thought to be scheduled to go out past the watershed, as the actor appears to find it hard to reign in his inflammatory language when laying into the American right as well.
In 1998, eight days before President Bill Clinton was due to be impeached by a bill brought before Congress, Baldwin said on Conan O'Brien's late-night show: "Other countries are laughing at us 24 hours a day…if we were in other countries right now, we would go down to Washington and we would stone [Congressman] Henry Hyde to death!
"We would stone him to death!... and we would go to their homes and we'd kill their wives and children. We would kill their families."
In perhaps his most shocking comment, Baldwin admitted he'd still like to become US president.
"I wanted to be president of the United States. I really did. The older I get, the less preposterous the idea seems."