A half-eaten piece of toast, left by Niall Horan of the British boyband One Direction, which was then put up for auction on eBay, has been withdrawn after attracting almost $100,000 (£65,000) in bids.
According to reports posted online yesterday, the Vegemite-smeared slice of toasted white bread was discarded by Horan on the Australian breakfast TV show Sunrise, on which the band were being interviewed.
Horan had been trying food items he hadn’t eaten before; but, after taking a bite of the toast, the 18-year-old singer spat it, saying he didn’t like the taste. Later, Horan posted on Twitter, saying, “Can clearly say Vegemite is horrible!”
Vegemite is a dark-brown Australian food paste made by Kraft from yeast extract, similar to the British product Marmite. Both are by-products from their respective beer-making industries.
After the show, the programme-makers listed the left-over food item on eBay to raise money for the charity YoungCare, which works with young people needing full-time care.
The eBay listing read, “We know you want to get close to your idols. For one lucky Directioner, that dream is about to become an easily digestible reality! When the world’s biggest band One Direction came into the Sunrise studio, Niall Horan tried out our local delicacy – Vegemite. Now, you can be the proud owner of this half-eaten piece toast, which passed the lips of the blonde singer!”
However, it appears that the seller has ended the listing, pulling it before its end date in two days time.
According to the One direction Online fansite, the listing was due to end on Saturday, 14 April, but the eBay page now shows that the auction actually ended on Thursday, 12 April with no bids, suggesting that the seller has withdrawn the item. The details read, “12 Apr, 2012 06:42:03 AEST. AU $0.99 [ 0 bids].”
Before the listing was pulled, Digital Spy reported, “[A] succession of bids saw the price rise to $1,000 (£648) within three hours [then] $15,000 (£9,721) [then] an anonymous user put forward a bid of $50,000 (£32,409) [. . .] quickly followed up [by the same person with] separate offers of $80,000 (£50,323), $85,000 (£51,845), $90,000 (£58,326) and $99,999, which was matched by another potential buyer.
How many of the bids – of which 111 have were placed as of the last of these – were authentic is not yet known, but the answer could explain why the auction has ended early.
And how much fans of the blond singer would have been willing to pay for the blond singer’s discarded piece of toast will remain unknown. On that, Sunrise said, “We will not be including the mouthful that Niall spat out – because that’s just gross.”
Meanwhile, Horan is in good company when it comes to his dislike of Vegemite. In March 2011, President Barack Obama said he did not like the product, telling schoolchildren in Virginia “it’s horrible”.
One Direction are currently in Australia, where they are being mobbed by overexcited fans wherever they go. Last month, the boyband made US Billboard chart history when they became the first British music act in America to reach number one with their debut album, Up All Night.