Twinkle Twinkle or Celebrities Behaving Badly by Trevor Plumbly
Stars versus Celebrities
In pre-TV days (yes I’m that old); the word ‘celebrity’ didn’t really get bandied around as much as it does today. You were either a star, or a support player, or a bit-part actor, or part of the chorus line or, worse still, an extra. These days, with numerous film and TV productions, stars are a bit of an endangered species, while celebrities flourish. But the sad thing about celebrities is that, while stars are forgiven all manner of sins, the lesser lights in show-biz get stuck in a sort of limbo between fame and familiarity. Instead of getting mobbed by adoring fans, the poor sods get hesitant glances and whispered asides seeking confirmation that some sort of respect is owed. Another problem the celebrity faces is that, being more or less ordinary, their shortcomings get judged by the same standards as Joe Blogs. A star may get royally pissed, gleefully get in a fight and/or bonk anything with a pulse, and the public accept it as part of the pressures of stardom, but if a half-famous celebrity gooses a gal or a guy, it’s ‘Off with their head!’.
It’s all a bit boring really trying to find some sort of novelty value in the so-called failings of the fringe-famous; most of them don’t behave in a manner that would cause too much of a stir at the local pub on a Saturday night: sex, drugs, rock and roll etc. Certainly, there are the more serious cases involving child abuse and drug-fuelled rage incidents, but most are pretty average performers on or off-stage. Odd bods cause a frisson of interest such as Hugh Grant and his activities in a parked car in LA, but, let’s be charitable; maybe she did believe it was a new cellphone model. Then there was Leslie Grantham, AKA ‘Dirty Den’ in a British soap opera, who decided that a full-frontal flash was a polite introduction to a female visitor to his dressing room, bringing a whole new meaning to the term ‘a hard act to follow’. Odd really isn’t it? Lots of male celebrities seem compelled to brandish their breeding tackle for recreation while their female counterparts tend to prefer the booze and drug route; maybe it takes the women’s minds off the gents’ genitalia on offer?
Celebrity Final Curtain
Eventually I stumbled across the worst career move ever by an entertainer. Tommy Cooper was a reasonably well known British comedian, not a star by any means, but very much a part of the British variety stage scene. During a live TV performance in 1984, Tommy dropped dead of a heart attack while the audience, still thinking it was part of his act, continued to laugh and applaud even as the curtain was drawn. What a way to end a career! Piss off paedophiles! Drop dead druggies! Wither and wilt willy-wavers! The last the audience saw of Tommy Cooper was his size 13 shoes poking out from under the curtain. Surely the worst career move in the game, but at the same time the ultimate curtain call. Tommy Cooper really did… ‘Leave ‘em laughing’.
I hereby throw down the gauntlet and challenge my fellow bloggers, and indeed any of our devoted readers, to come up with their own comments about celebrities behaving badly.