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An axe to grind on Big Willy

Everyone loves Will Smith, right? No? Well they did back in 1998, that's for sure. Miami, uh, yeah, Miami, etc etc. Anyway, now that he's more famous for starring in feelgood Hollywood nonsense, it's good that we remember how he started – as a gawky, big-eared rapper spoofing his way through The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. It's where we all first fell in love with him.

Not his co-stars, mind you. The woman who played the almost anonymous Aunt Viv still has a large axe to grind with the chap, and who can blame her for being annoyed that a programme designed and created for Will Smith ends up promoting Will Smith? It's sickening, is what it is.

'Smith had people around him who made sure no one outshone him,' moaned Janet Hubert in her book Perfection Is Not A Sitcom Mom. 'I was happy to see Don Cheadle become the quality actor that he is, and often wondered how he made it past one episode, as Hilary's boyfriend, being such a fierce actor. No one could be on The Tonight Show, that first season, except Will. And I mean no one.

'I recall the incredibly talented Countess Vaughn coming to guest star. The day of table read, she was pee-in-your-pants funny, so I knew she was history - banished into the cornfield.' It might be worthwhile mentioning that Aunt Viv was a rubbish character anyway.

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