Monday, August 11, 2008

Celebrity Who?

It is an accepted fact that I am behind the times, positively antediluvian in many ways. And one facet of modern life that has passed me by is the British cult of the ‘celebrity.’
If you were to ask me to name a celebrity of two I suppose I might mutter “Noel Coward? Maurice Chevalier?” Or even “Jack Hobbs?” so you can visualise the extent of my ignorance on this compelling subject that seems to exercise the minds of so many today.
Eager to attack the steep learning curve required to bring myself up to speed on the matter, I sought in vain for some suitable book of instruction. “Celebrities for Dummies” would have been useful I thought on the grounds that the two were often synonymous.
So when I spotted that the Daily Telegraph had an article that ran:
“Where do the stars go when they need to kick back and relax? Which restaurants, shops, resorts and hotels do they rate above all others? 100 of Britain’s best-known celebrities tell all,” I thought that here was a chance to get a toehold on the mystery.
Why I should have the slightest interest in where this eclectic group ate, holidayed or shopped was beyond me, but the list of 100 names was promising.
One or two I recognised, David Blunkett for example, although I had not realised that he was a ‘celebrity.’ Many had names that were redolent of Easter European soccer teams and there were few that I could recall having done anything to deserve being called a celebrity or even warranting a mention in a newspaper.
The great relief to me was to find that not one of the 100 had any intention of coming to holiday, eat or shop in my part of the world.
So I am afraid that I shall just have to be content with living in the past and recalling genuine celebrities that I feel might have been deserving of the title which, like so many titles and awards today, has been reduced to a meaningless absurdity.
Jack Hobbs sold me my first cricket bat – now there was a celebrity.


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