Monday, 6 July 2009

Reason no. 12376456383453 why being famous is probably crap

I don't share this generation's obsession with becoming famous. The idea of being splattered across newspapers, photographed at every turn, idolised / hated by the public at large just doesn't appeal to me in the slightest. Everyone wants to do a job they love and get paid for it; but what if succeeding in that job automatically means that you have to become a figure in the public eye? Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the media world. It's a fickle industry where people will love you one minute then turn on you the next just to make themselves a few bob. Look at Big Brother contestants. Last year, a friend at uni was contacted via facebook by a journalist digging dirt on one of the housemates. She was offered £1,500 if she put her name in the story, and £1,000 to be named as a source.

Plus, it's no longer just the photographers and journalists you're hiding from, either. Suddenly the public, with their camera phones and instant YouTube / Facebook tendencies are the 21st century paps, and the internet is their front page.

On Saturday night I realised just how careful people in the public eye have to be. While dancing in the marquee in our enclosure at Henley on Saturday night, one such person got himself into quite a lather over a video we'd inadvertently taken of him ballroom dancing to Club Tropicana with a friend of ours. Ironically, we hadn't realised who this mystery man bum wiggling, side stepping, twirling and bending our friend round the dancefloor was, until he spotted us recording the show and immediately stopped and came over to ask us to delete the video. It was then that the penny dropped: I recognised him from an almost daily presence on TV, where he's a respectable, very well known figure. Even yesterday I noticed his face appeared on the front page of one of the weekend newspaper supplements and thought about the potential goldmine on my camera.

It's all a bit hazy, but he was, to put it bluntly, cacking himself about what we were going to do with the video and the effect it could have on his reputation if the papers got hold of it. But we're kind hearted soles, and I reassured him the footage would go no further, and that we hadn't even realised who he was to begin with. He was polite, thankful and never arrogant - just visibly concerned about the potentially damaging results that letting his guard down for a few minutes could have on a career.

"Thank you so much. It's just the papers would have a field day and twist it all out of proportion. You're never safe in the media."

And with that, we said goodbye and he went on his way.

"Oh, and mate?"
"Nice moves"
"Ha! Thanks."

If being famous means you can't let your hair down to a Wham! classic, then in my opinion, you're better off being a nobody.


Ellie said...

Oh, aren't you the polite celebrity spotter too! Keeping the name mum. Agree w/ you whole heartedly of course. The price of fame ain't worth it.

miss*H said...

I could think of nothing worse than being famous (apart from the celeb boyfriends and fancy travelling)...i'd be like Julia Roberst in Notting Hill..searching for some normality. It saddens me to hear little kids when asked what the want to be when they are older replying "i want to be famous". What happened to wanting to be a nurse or doctor. Where is their ambition?!
Well done on deleting the video (though you should splill the beans here on who he was:) )

Blonde said...

Oh, email it over. Go on. You know you want to.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Ellie - Of course I wasn't going to make false promises! Poor bloke. Kinda felt sorry for him.

Miss H - Oh, I didn't promise to delete the video. I just said I wasn't going to do anything with it ;)

Blonde - As my mum would say: "Not on your nelly."

Scarlett said...

You have to tell me who it was!


And anyone who dances to Wham! (see? I remembered the so 1980s exclamation mark) is all right in my book.

Blue soup said...


The Unbearable Banishment said...

I would LOVE untold wealth.I don't think it would ruin my pleasant disposition. But fame is a sucker's game.

Yes, whooooooo, indeed?

Mouldy-Old-Tartlet said...

You little tease.

Was it Jamie Theakston?

AFC 30K said...

If a person is polite and respectful as it appears this man was then I'm glad you agreed to keep his privacy.

Just because you're in the media doen't mean you can't have a private life.

I do not pity those that crave the media attention, in which case I believe them to be fair game.

Of course, that shaid, who was it???? ;-)

Lynx said...

Are we playing "guess the celebrity" again? I seem to remember that was a popular game on another blog a while ago. My first guess: Jeremy Paxman. If it's not him it must be Timmy Mallett.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to hazard a guess at David Dickinson, or that well known blogger Brennig Jones.

Reluctant Blogger said...

I shan't ask who it was cos I'd probably be none the wiser if you told me.

I am under no illusions about fame. I'd hate it. I have had some experience of being known (not famous as such) and it was most unpleasant.

The best thing in life, the most precious thing, is freedom and you lose that if you become (in)famous. I would not trade my freedom for anything in the world.

Brennig said...

Perp, you're a bad boy. :-)

My money's on Hugh Grant.

Time Traveller said...

Was it Paul Daniels? :)

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