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Are these people on Celebrity Big Brother really famous?
DID you tune in for the Celebrity Big Brother launch at Elstree Studios last week? Apparently 3.5 million did, which is a very good audience for Channel Five but they may be a bit worried as last year’s opener attracted 5.1 million.
Looking at the line-up, I would be fascinated to read a list of the fading stars of the showbiz galaxy who turned it down if this bunch are the cream of the crop.
There was a time when the promise of up to three weeks’ screen time and a big pay cheque would have lured quite a few names, just as zombies are drawn to the smell of live human flesh.
My personal all-time favourite was Sly Stallone’s mother Jackie and who can forget George Galloway pretending to be a cat, although I bet he wish we would.
I must admit I have never heard of the majority of this year’s contestants and does the word celebrity really now embrace a kid kicked off X Factor and someone who had an affair, albeit with a famous footballer? Still, there are some attractive ladies in the house, so I will no doubt tune in for the hot tub action but only so I can report back to you.
Personally, I despair of the whole celebrity circus which seems to have engulfed television and the media. I am still trying to understand how a girl from Essex becomes a millionaire by being a girl from Essex? I am a boy from Borehamwood, so where is my share? I guess most people envy them the money and their five minutes in the limelight.
Nowadays, kids at school when asked what they want to be when they grow up, do not say nurse or train driver, but just “to be famous”, which is worrying as nearly all them will have to settle for what they consider second best.
The nature of fame today is so fleeting. The young actor Matt Di Angelo, of Strictly Come Dancing and Hustle fame, recently said he turns down juicy pay cheques for doing “celebrity things” so he will be taken seriously as an actor in the long term. Good for him and quite brave in such a competitive market.
I recently watched a couple of “Audience With” repeat TV shows of the Eighties with Dame Edna Everage and Freddie Starr. The format required having a number of well-known celebrities planted in the audience to ask the guest star questions. What is fascinating is to see again household television names of 30 years ago who are forgotten today.
I am even surprised that some really big TV stars are beginning to become unknown by a younger generation. I recently remarked to a 30-year-old friend on an interesting documentary about John Thaw, who starred in The Sweeney and Inspector Morse, to which they replied “never heard of him”. It was not worth asking if he knew of Russell Harty or Ted Moult.
Meanwhile, I look forward to the Rotary Club’s screening of the unforgettable movie classic Casablanca at the Ark Theatre in March. That movie was shot 70 years ago, but still entertains and Humphrey Bogart remains an iconic star more than 50 years after his death.
I spoke to his co-star Ingrid Bergman when she was making a film at Elstree and she revealed: “It was a difficult production as Bogie was in a bad mood, rowing with his then wife, and the scriptwriters could not decide whether my character stayed with her husband or went off with Bogie and kept rewriting the script.”
Well I must leave you now as I am writing a proposal for a new celebrity reality show. It is called Celebrity Autopsy or Find The Kidneys and the spin-off show I Am Dying To Meet You. This could be my fast track to a fortune, so clear the front page of Hello magazine, here I come...
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