Bob Shields: I Can't See Elton, Nicholson and Brad Eating Witchety Grubs

Article excerpt

Byline: Bob Shields

IT'S become the epidemic of the new Millennium ... and it seems no one is immune from its clutches.

You'll be sitting in a waiting room, and when your name is called, you sit down in front of an expressionless man with a file on his desk.

'I have to tell you that your life will never be normal again ...' he says gravely.

'Is it ... is it the 'Big'C' ..?' you stammer nervously.

'Yes ... the results are quite conclusive. You are a celebrity.'

The two-bit agent then opens the cheap champagne and it's walk-on parts on afternoon quiz shows noone watches all round.

Welcome to the magic roundabout of petty stardom where everyone wants to get onand nobody ever gets off.

A world where everyone gets their 15 minutes of fame and tries to con a living out of it.

And the dung heap they are all feeding off is television.

For my money, there are only two types of 'celebrity'.

The real ones are the people you would pay money to see.

The fakers are the people television hires for you to watch.

Lord Brockett a fraudulent, money-grubbing peer?Who gives a toss?

The wife of a booze bag footballer? A clapped-out disc jockey? A fat former footballer, a jaded pop star and an unemployed BBC reporter? Marvellous.

No wonder Johnny Rotten legged it sharpish.

Andnow begins the feeding frenzy in the trough of daytime television ... This Morning, Richard and Judy, Terry and Gabby or Des and Mel.

Television created them and now television will incestuously perpetuate them. Just as it does with Pop Idol, Fame Academy or Big Brother nonentities. …