Monday, 20 September 2010

No Pain, No Fame

One of the benefits of living in London is that you are bound to spot a celebrity or two, whether it’s at a premiere in Leicester Square or whilst sipping a pint in the Hawley Arms. Or so I am told. You see, I’ve never really spotted a celebrity in London, partly because I have become exceedingly good at switching off from the rest of the general public when I am on my travels, and partly because I don’t read OK or pay much attention to Z list gossip. In fact, up until a couple of weeks ago, the best I could come up with was some indie kid from Fame Academy spotted on the escalator at Kings Cross.
However I recently met someone outside a court when a particularly prominent celeb was due to leave after yet another scrape with the law. The paparazzi were held at bay by a half a dozen cops, allowing a path between the court exit and the Said Celeb’s waiting car. It all seemed quite amicable. Until Said Celeb appeared.
Like I say, I don’t tend to go celeb spotting, so I wasn’t prepared for the behaviour of the paps. A pack of wolves is the closest I can get to describing them, interested in nothing but getting a photo of their prey. Never mind that this is a fellow human being. The notion of human compassion is clearly not one the average pap is particularly familiar with. When they started to climb onto his car I struggled to see these people as human at all.
I have told several people about this experience, and how shocking I found it. Most people shrug, and tell me that if you use the media to promote yourself then you have to expect it.
Really? I mean, if you are a performer, then surely it is inevitable that you will be seen in the public eye. And, unless you live like a hermit, of course you’re going to get snapped leaving pubs and clubs. What worries me, though, is how the media are so quick to jump on the mighty when they fall. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing people who have made something of themselves disgraced. Whether it’s being arrested, being sectioned or putting on weight, people suck it up with relish. You have to be thick skinned to be a success in this town, because as soon as cracks begin to show people will line up to watch your life come crashing down. As for those who try to break away from a harmful lifestyle, whether it’s using drugs or committing crime, I wish them luck, as there is always someone ready to pull them back down as soon as the going gets tough.
I am not religious in any shape or form, but I often quote a line from the bible that I actually agree with: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It’s quite straight forward really. Treat other people as you would like to be treated in their situation. With courtesy and respect. Not a lot to ask. Is it?

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you.

    Re: not seeing any celebs in London, I'm surprised.
    I don't read any of those celeb mags and am also the last person to know of 'who?'
    but I have seen ' Sue Perkins'only 50m from West Hampstead thameslink, oh and her again in Camden Parkway ( Yes I suppose I do notice her) then again I also saw Gok Wan (or whatever his name is) in a restuarant in Camden Parkway.
    I averted my eyes, though, becuase like you I believe people have a right to publicity. A well known example was of course Princess Di. But lesser known mortals can also be victims of the press. They don't seem to have any morals.