According to my online dictionary, a celebrity is “a famous person, especially in entertainment or sport.” That’s clear enough, then. Bruce Forsyth and Andy Murray, for example. Very famous people in entertainment and sport. Is it just me or is Channel Five’s new series of ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ a somewhat dubious interpretation of the word celebrity or is it just my age and how out of touch I am with modern culture?
Christopher Biggins – Yes, I have heard of him. His trademark is being camp. I think he was once in a TV show with Cilla Black but these days he appears to be famous for being famous.
Saira Khan – Not a clue.
Frankie Grande – Nope.
Rickie Norwood – Who?
Renee Graziano – Never heard of her.
Marnie Simpson – Not a familiar name.
Katie Waissel – Not crossed my path.
Stephen Bear – A relative of Rupert?
Lewis Bloor – Sorry, no.
Aubrey O’Day – ‘Fraid not.
James Whale – Once had a late night TV show, very right wing as I recall.
Grant Bovey – Can’t say it rings a bell.
Chloe Khan – Really can’t say I do.
Samantha Fox – Famous for baring her breasts.
Colin Newell – Not a scooby.
Helen Lederer – Not a name I recognise.
I should say that I did not learn the list of ‘celebrities’ by watching the show – that, even by my standards, is a step too low. Instead I trawled a few websites and found to my disinterest that Grant Bovey is a bankrupt businessman who used to be married to Anthea Turner who herself used to present telly programmes. So, that makes him a celebrity, then? There’s hope for all of us.
It must be said that I start from the position of loathing the entire idea of Big Brother which, on the basis of clips I have seen over the years, consists of a group of drunken nonentities carrying out a series of ‘tasks’, leading to the public voting out the ones they dislike the least until the final celebrity who hasn’t been booted out ‘wins’.
And there’s the voyeuristic aspect of it. This is television as the Peeping Tom except that I would suggest that most of the celebrities are always aware their every move is bring shown on TV. How could it not be? For most of the time they wear clumsy microphones and all the time they live in a totally artificial Big Brother House. It’s a show where the contestants are exhibitionists and the viewers, frankly, are not far off being voyeurs.
Apparently, the contestants get £100,000 each for participating so they are either doing it because they are greedy or broke or perhaps both. What they certainly do not have is self-respect and pride. It’s a temporary fix, either to try to resurrect a career or to launch one. History suggests this is here today, gone tomorrow TV.
My sheer ignorance about the show is probably because I don’t watch whichever shows these people appear in. I don’t particularly care for scandal sheets like Hello! and the Sun, so I am not privy for celebrity tittle-tattle. Lucky me, I reckon.
Above all, I am not interested in watching people of whom I have never heard doing things I am not interested in when I could be doing something better. And to me anything is better than watching Celebrity Big Brother.
And if this is modern culture, I’m quite content to be out of the loop. There has always been crap television but now we have a far greater choice of crap television. The more there is the less I watch and life is so much better as a result.