Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

The Friday rant - 01.04.11

How much does the word "celebrity" wind you up, because personally I think it is one of the most overused and just plain awful words in the English language. What makes somebody a "celebrity" anyway ? I am not really talking about fishing here, but in the same breath I am very much opposed to any kind of "celebrity culture" within a sport like fishing, and if that sounds a bit daft coming from somebody like me who has done a bit of TV work, then that's just the way it is. People who know me know how I feel, and I certainly can't influence the opinions of people I don't know. I did not do some extremely minor television work to become a "fishing celebrity", and I simply don't agree that a sport like fishing deserves, warrants or has room for any kind of even extremely insignificant celebrity culture. Get out on the rocks or the river bank and the fish have no idea who is fishing for them.

But as regards the whole cult of celebrity in the wider world, what on earth is going on ? Why can't an actor or actress just be what they are - an actor or an actress. Why on earth do they have to become a "celebrity" ? Note that the really class actors for example just seem to get on with acting, and they let their work speak for them. But if acting is a job which I respect hugely and know next to nothing about, then what really gets my goat is all these "celebrities" running around that for some reason are famous for being famous. Call me old fashioned, but I just don't understand it, and I don't buy into it at all. But are we the guilty ones for buying into this whole celebrity thing and thus enabling it to snowball ?

Firstly, who on earth would want to be famous anyway ? If you want to be an actor and work on the best films, TV productions or theatre stages for example, then a by-product of that work I guess can bring about a level of "fame". But how could anybody actually crave or seek fame ? Surely just the increased level of interest in one's private life would be enough to put anybody off ever trying to seek fame for fame's sake. Why would any rational people court publicity or added intrusion into their lives, and especially when they have children ? But perhaps judging by the amount of vacuous celebrity magazines and reality TV shows then I am somewhat in the minority. I categorically do not watch reality TV because I have no interest for example in how somebody lives in a house or a jungle - how can this ridiculous, shallow drivel possibly benefit my existence one bit ? Why would anybody want to read a magazine about some fantastically uninteresting people and their latest breast enlargement/reduction or their inane views on world peace ? OK, so if somebody uses their "fame" for good causes, then I am all for that, but at the same time I can't help but have a problem with pop stars flying around the world in private jets or in first class and then lecturing us on subjects such as poverty, hunger etc. At least fly steerage class like me !!

What I really struggle to understand is why a "famous" person is any more interesting or worth listening to than a regular person like you or I. It seems that we can't watch the news without multiple references to the word "celebrity", yet I suppose it's a vicious cycle where the myth is continually perpetuated by the interest shown in the whole celebrity culture. Show no interest in it culture and it goes away, but I guess that ain't going to happen any day soon. If I watch a TV programme, I am far more drawn to "real" presenters like say Bruce Parry who has so obviously had no television training (and I mean that as a compliment) and instead lights up naturally in front of the camera with his infectious passion and enthusiasm. And on the flipside, I feel positively ill watching these trained presenters with fixed smiles, perfect hair cuts and masses of makeup who all seem to use the same intonation. You don't see somebody like Bruce Parry courting the celebrity culture thing. Or does he but I don't see it because I'm not reading the right publications ??!! I doubt it..........

Now by nature I am not a violent person, but if there is one celebrity based thing that makes me want to become a Basil Fawlty and thrash the offending "celebrity" with a branch, it's the whole wearing sunglasses inside !! It drives me absolutely mad. Who on earth needs to wear sunglasses inside, and how stupid does it look to see somebody in a dark room wearing shades ? Can their future be so overwhelmingly bright that they have to stop the reflection from their rising star blinding them on its way into orbit ? Honestly, I just don't get the whole wearing sunglasses inside thing at all, and personally I wish there was a law against it that was enforceable by a public thrashing in the middle of Trafalgar Square. Sunglasses are for outside, and outside only. Surely these "inside offenders" don't really thing they actually look the business do they because they are wearing them indoors and we aren't ? How anybody could take themselves that seriously I just don't know. Have a good weekend all and do something good for the world by changing channels when a celebrity comes on..............