Britney Spears’ song Toxic is an undisputed pop classic, known for its addictive beat and for its star's brief foray into air hostessing.
But according to Popbitch, the 2003 tune, which includes lyrics like “a guy like you should wear a warning”, could well have been inspired by a very unexpected figure: Channel 4's Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick.
But if you’re hoping for some hot gossip about a Spears/Fitzpatrick dalliance, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Fitzpatrick reportedly dated one of Spears' Toxic collaborators, a songwriter called Cathy Dennis.
He naturally met her after she brought her paralysed Labrador Charlie to see him (sadly, he wasn't able to do anything for Charlie.)
According to Popbitch, Fitzpatrick inspired the song as the pair were dating in the early 00s.
It’s a little baffling to think of Fitzpatrick in the song’s context, which describes the figure in it as “a taste of poison paradise”. This is, of course, the same man who once jumped out of his car in Dublin to save a swan stuck in traffic.
A quick refresher on the rest of the song's lyrics (any excuse):
Fitzpatrick and Dennis apparently broke up in 2003: the same year the song came out.
Dennis spoke openly about their breakup in his book Listening to the Animals - Becoming the Supervet and said, “Cathy and I remain good friends and I’m sad that I couldn’t give her, or anyone else, what is needed in a healthy relationship.”
In any case, Dennis got a pretty great song out of it, one that dominated the charts internationally - peaking at number one in the UK.