Celebrities are just like you and me. They eat, sleep and perform all the usual bodily functions you’d expect from an average human being. They fall in love, get married – sometimes more than once – have kids and eventually shuffle off this mortal coil.
And yet, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had total strangers come up to me and try to grab hold of me while their friend takes a picture on their camera phone. When I leave the house, there are no paparazzi at my gate. No one has ever posed as a hospital orderly to get hold of my medical records.
When I worked in publishing, I handled the PR for a variety of celebrities, from sports personalities and politicians to TV presenters and A list actors. One thing that always shocked me was how many members of the public seem to presume that celebrities are deaf. They stand right next to them and make the most personal comments, as if the celebrity couldn’t hear a thing.
When the phone hacking scandal broke, one frequent comment was that the celebrities had put themselves up as targets – it was the ordinary members of the public who deserved better treatment. But surely if we expect celebrities to be prosecuted when they behave badly, we should also expect them to receive the same fair legal redress if someone hacks their phone or commits any other crime against them. And is it ever fair to harass a celebrities family or those working for them?
Some years ago, a friend of mine who is an actor left a long-running role in a soap and had a period without work, during which he eventually had to claim benefits. Standing in line at the dole office (as it was then), he was recognised by a member of the public, who immediately came over to express their surprise that he might be signing on. How much easier it would have been for him that day to be an anonymous person, rather than someone who happened to love acting and as a result had become a familiar face.
Whoopi Goldberg – I organised her book publicity tour and launch and accompanied her to interviews in March 1998.
Creative, affordable copywriting that will help you sell your products and services. From blogging packages and web content to press releases and e-marketing, we offer professional copywriting in Huddersfield and Leeds and across West Yorkshire and the UK.
Read my monthly column in The Eye magazine, interviews with top authors in Excelle magazine, features written for Around Town magazine and a variety of articles written for the national press.
From Joanne Harris to Iain Banks, find out more about events with bestselling authors and creative writing courses in Huddersfield run by Key Words.
For business there’s a choice of Writing for Business seminars, one-off masterclasses and speaking engagements, as well as our monthly Coffee & Cake Business Network event at Café Society in Huddersfield