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Unlikely celebrity couples

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They say love moves in mysterious ways and nothing could be truer in the wonderful world of showbiz. With recent news that Catherine Tate is dating Take That star Jason Orange, we take a look at other celebrity couples through history whose relationships have taken us completely by surprise. From Chris Evans and Billie Piper to Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett, read on for more details of unlikely famous matches...

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Picture credit: Rex Features

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    Sparks are flying between Take That's Jason Orange and TV comedienne Catherine Tate, in a union that no-one saw coming.

    The pair are apparently "very happy in each other’s company" and spent their first date on a tour of William Shakespeare's house in Chesterfield, Derbyshire.

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    Brad Pitt and Sinitta dated for two years back in the 1980s.

    "He wasn't Brad Pitt the movie star back then," Simon Cowell's sidekick said of her former boyfriend. "He was just a very cute boy."

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    Hands up who remembers Madonna and Sean Penn?

    The two divorced in 1989, but not before they co-starred in a movie together (Shanghai Surprise) and Madonna dedicated an album to her amour du jour.

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    Old-fashioned romantic Gwyneth Paltrow and man-about-town Ben Affleck created something of a stir when they hooked up in the late 1990s.

    Their affair only lasted six months, but they remain friends to this day.

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    Cupid threw a curveball with Jim Carrey and Renee Zellweger, who met on the set of Me, Myself and Irene in 2000.

    Their relationship was short-lived but passionate with Carrey declaring, "She's absolutely a gem of a human being."

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    In 1993, at the height of her fame, Julia Roberts left jaws agape by marrying country star Lyle Lovett.

    The unlikely couple lasted two years before calling it quits.

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    Not even the tabloids were prepared when teen star Billie Piper got hitched to Chris Evans in a secret Las Vegas ceremony in 2001.

    Sadly, the whirlwind romance was not to be and despite overcoming a 16-year age gap, the couple divorced three years later.

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    No one could quite believe it when Angelina Jolie tied the knot with Billy Bob Thornton in 2000.

    Their marriage was brief but intense, with the pair wearing vials of one another's blood round their necks as a declaration of true love.

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    Of all Winona Ryder's past flames, Matt Damon is often the forgotten one.

    But the two dated from 1997 - 2000, with Gwyneth Paltrow acting as matchmaker.

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    Now Mila Kunis has hit the big time, her relationship with Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin seems surreal.

    The couple were together for a full eight years before parting ways at the beginning of this year.

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    The fallout from Liza Minnelli and David Gest's 16-month relationship was as bizzarre as the marriage itself.

    Just over a year after their star-studded marriage (where Elizabeth Taylor was matron of honour and Michael Jackson best man), Gest filed a $10 million lawsuit against the Cabaret star for alleged physical abuse. The charges were later resolved and they divorced "amicably."

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    If Kurt Cobain is Courtney Love's most high profile lover, actor Ed Norton is her least.

    The couple dated in the 90s after co-starring in The People vs. Larry Flynt. She later accused him of being a "terrifically bad sexist."

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    Romance reared its quirky side with the marriage of Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley in 1994.

    Some openly questioned the motives of their two-year union, but Presley later insisted they were very much in love. "He was completely normal," she said.

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    Ryan Reynolds' relationship with Scarlett Johansson was so sensationalised, it's easy to forget he dated singer Alanis Morissette for four years before that.

    Morisette's 2008 album Flavors of Entanglement dealt with the break-up and was "cathartic" to produce, she said.

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    They dated on and off for five years, and Lisa Snowdon has laboured under the title of being former Mrs. George Clooney ever since.

    Still, it's hardly surprising the match between British girl-next-door and one of Hollywood's biggest movie stars continues to captivate.

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    Even with Kate Moss' taste for a bad boy, eyebrows were raised when she began dating rocker/addict Pete Doherty in 2005.

    They kept us guessing with every turned of their rollercoaster relationship - but eventually broke up for good, amid a frenzy of wedding rumours, in 2007.

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    Up-and-coming Hollywood starlet Evan Rachel Wood stunned the world of showbiz by going public with ultimate death rock goth Marilyn Mason in 2007.

    The pair went steady in a "healthy and loving" relationship for over two years and were engaged went they finally called time on their courtship.

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    Irony didn't come close to describing it when Britney Spears started dating British paparazzi photographer Adnan Ghalib in late 2007.

    Having been hounded by the paparazzi for a number of years, Spears nevertheless seemed happy to embark on the media-heavy romance - but by March 2008, it was over.

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    Sienna Miller and Rhys Ifans were careful to keep their romance under wraps for the first few months; but the press eventually caught on and were desperate for a photo confirming the unexpected match.

    Despite all the hype the relationship lasted only a year, with Ifans later denying he was heartbroken. "F*** Sienna, I'm over it," he said.

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    Astonishment was rife as Lib Dem MP Lembit Öpik struck up a romance with Cheeky Girl Gabriela Irimia, aged 24 at the time, in 2006.

    Their relationship quickly escalated with Öpik proposing in Rome. But by 2008, it hit the rocks - despite a plethora of photo opps and magazine endorsements.

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    Yes indeed, Will Smith and Tyra Banks were an item once upon a time.

    They met after Banks appeared in a few episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and dated for around a year.

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    Jennifer Aniston certainly rocked the boat a little when she and bad boy John Mayer started dating in early 2008.

    Everyone felt protective about Hollywood's golden girl and the on-off relationship eventually became off for good, with Mayer's unsubtle leaks to the press not helping matters.

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    Sophie Dahl and Jamie Cullum were hailed as an unusual match when they started seeing one another, based mainly (and unfairly) on their size difference.

    But the jazz singer and supermodel proved doubters wrong by marrying in 2010 - and they are now proud parents of daughter Lyra.

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    Katie Holmes kept posters of Tom Cruise when she was growing up, making the 16-year age gap in their relationship even more strange.

    Fix-up rumours and conspiracy theories abounded when they got married in a fairytale ceremony in 2006: but five years later and the couple are still going strong.

  • Unlikely celebrity couples

    How did one of Hollywood's leading stars (aka Rachel McAdams) end up dating British actor Michael Sheen?

    The pair met on the set of Midnight in Paris in 2010, with Sheen totally bowled over by his co-star. "She's talented, intelligent, beautiful. She's warm and friendly. She's very supportive, and very kind, very funny. She makes me laugh a lot," he said.

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