If they could understand what was happening, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s terriers Pistol and Boo would no doubt delight in Barnaby Joyce’s fall from grace.
The Nationals leader’s resignation announcement on Friday afternoon followed what was no doubt the worst fortnight of his career.
Even the revelation Joyce, 50, and his former staffer will soon have a secret love-child was far from the most colourful moment of the Deputy Prime Minister’s career.
The former accountant, MP and father-of-four (soon to be five) has had an extraordinary run in the spotlight.
Maverick: Barnaby Joyce (seen shortly after his election as a Queensland senator) was known then as someone who did not toe the party line
Joyce (left) and his arch-rivals: The Deputy Prime Minister will long be remembered for making an example of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard (right)
The revelation Barnaby Joyce had a baby boy on the way with his former staffer Vikki Campion (pictured together) was the beginning of the end
He first made waves as a maverick Queensland swing-voter in the Senate during the Howard government – drawing the ire of his party for failing to toe the party line.
‘He is probably the most interesting individual Senator that’s come to Canberra in a long time,’ political expert Brian Costa said at the time.
By the Turnbull years, Joyce had risen to the top of government – and will be best remembered for his headline-grabbing antics.
Many Australians watched with mirth when the then-Agriculture Minister decided to make an example of A-listers Johnny Depp and Amber Heard in 2015.
The couple had smuggled a pair of Yorkshire terriers, named Pistol and Boo, into the country during a filming on the Gold Coast.
Joyce didn’t pull his punches when – as the minister responsible for the country’s biosecurity – he said the canines needed to leave the country or face lethal injection.
A straight-faced Mr Joyce said: ‘Mr Depp has to take his dogs back to California or we’re going to have to euthanase them.
‘He’s now got about 50 hours left to remove the dogs…
‘It’s time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States.’
They did. Depp later labelled Joyce ‘an inbred tomato’.
This video – where Johnny Depp and Amber Heard spoke about the importance of biosecurity – was pilloried as a ‘hostage clip’
Pistol and Boo, spotted in paparazzi pictures of the home where Depp and Heard were living
Little did Joyce know he had sparked an ongoing feud.
Amber Heard was unforgiving when Joyce hit one of his lowest points last year – just as rumours about him and Ms Campion started to emerge.
He was booted from Parliament by the High Court when it was revealed Akubra-wearing Joyce was actually a dual Australian-New Zealand citizen.
To mark his devastating career setback, Heard sent him a box of New Zealand’s ‘finest Kiwi fruit’.
(He was also nominated for the prestigous New Zealander of the Year award).
A look back: Joyce is seen long before the shackles of high office were thrust upon him
Aside from Hollywood shenanigans, Joyce has been an outspoken voice for regional Australia.
He put carp – of all things – on the national agenda, when he launched a new effort to stop the herpes virus spreading through the country’s stocks.
He posed at a media conference holding a carp.
‘These filthy mudsuckers will be terminated,’ he posted to Facebook.
‘These filthy mudsuckers will be terminated’: Joyce, seen during his expansive campaign to cure carp herpes
Question time: Joyce has been under immense pressure in recent weeks
It’s not clear whether his then-media adviser and resident social media expert Vikki Campion was responsible.
There’s little doubt the stress of the past few weeks – including a denied sexual harassment allegation – has taken a toll on him, Ms Campion, wife Natalie Joyce and his daughters.
At a press conference announcing his resignation on Friday, Mr Joyce said he wanted to be remembered as the man who ‘fought for the person in the weatherboard and iron.
‘I fought for the person I believed was in the peripheries and the small regional towns,’ he said.
‘I used my experience of the towns, the Wolbrooks especially, and my goal in life is to try to make their life better.
‘And I acknowledge in many areas I am rough around the edges and never tried to be anyone else.’