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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Celebrity, What Is It, and Why

Why is there such an obsession with celebrity in this country? Why do people get so obsessed over anything on television that has the word ‘celebrity’ in it (such as “Celebrity Big Brother,” “I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here,” or “Celebrity Weakest Link”?) ITV seems to think that it will immediately attract huge ratings for shows with this magic word in it. Let's be perfectly honest in that such shows are easy to produce, they don't cost that much and the public has a liking for them.

What makes a celebrity? Is it merely appearing on television that means someone becomes a celebrity, or is it something more? A mere whiff of scandal, notoriety even, can make someone ‘famous’ in the public’s eyes and they immediately get pages and pages published in the press on their goings-on. I was always under the impression that to achieve some sort of fame, such as appear on television, you had to actually DO something. Jade Goody and Katie Price are two such people, although enough has been said about Ms Goody without having to say anything further. Even in death she seems to have made her mark. Merely appearing on “Big Brother” made her a name. She didn’t appear to have any skills, or any talent to speak of, but she made a career out of being herself. How was this possible? As for Ms Price (or Jordan as the public were more used to calling her.) it must be her large assets (I’m not going to be so obvious here) are her main selling point. But how ON EARTH can she make a career of just being herself? She is like Ms Goody, she has no talent at all, so how can she ever manage to get into the press so frequently?

Was it something to do with the relationship and eventual marriage to Peter Andre which had something to do with it? And then their eventual marriage breakdown and divorce? It's the fact that both sides of the relationship has been reported in microscopic detail in the tabloids which makes them such infamous celebrities.

There was a time when you'd really need to work at being a 'celebrity' in the sense that, if you wanted to become an actor you first went to stage school, then built up your career over quite a few years, and then the big time would come when you made your entry in some television production which caught the public's attention. But now, since the rash of so-called 'reality' shows on television, such as "Big Brother" anyone can appear and then create for themselves a celebrity career. It's the 'instant' personality thing. You don't actually have to work very hard at having the fame and fortune which goes with celebrity that catches people's imagination.

We then get into the thorny area of footballers. I'm not in the least bit interested in this as a game. Who could honestly get interested in a load of grown men running around on a piece of grass kicking a leather ball around for 90 minutes? If I'm going to watch anything I suppose it might be Rugby. At least the players have to actually work hard and there is a lot of skill in that as a game. But most footballers are paid ridiculous amounts of money and then become 'celebrities.' What, falling around drunk having come of of nightclubs and having affairs with other men's wives and then being published all over the Redtop newspapers? I'm not saying that ALL footballers are like that, but you don't ofter hear about the positive things footballers do off the pitch. The 'bad boys' aren't being good role models for the teenagers who should look up to them.
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