fame

‘Twerking’ by any other name… Presenting: the most famous star the world has ever seen. Again!

The marketing and exploitation of the female image as part of the fame trajectory – for good or for evil – has a very long tradition. I first encountered the detail of helpless blind-ambition of fame-hungry starlets, whilst researching my book the Fame Formula. The manipulative craft of the publicist can be detected in the(…)

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The Monstrosity of Fame.

Our so-called obsession with celebrities is as old as the cult of saints. But the adoration of flimsy celebrity effigies is now facing a stark reality check, thanks to the revelations of Operation Yew Tree. I am appalled yet weirdly hypnotised by the carousel of failing celebrities. Disgraced household icons, once the essential popular entertainers(…)

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Greg Smith: I Could Be an Internet Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here…

Call me a cynic, but something rankles with me in this Greg Smith resignation furore. What’s unquestionable is that this man, formerly at the top of his profession (at least outwardly) has now rendered himself unemployable. The publication of his article and the resultant storm of comment combined in a perfect storm of PR disasters(…)

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Katie Price, Vengeful Goddess of the Tabloids

Ever since Tom Paine’s book Fame: From the Bronze Age to Britney came out, I have been looking more and more at the way celebrity and myth intersect – and now the news, and Katie Price specifically, has presented another killer analogy. In Celtic mythology, the Year King would be feted and loved and cherished(…)

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Malcolm McLaren: Great Lives

Today’s Great Lives on Radio 4 is a look at the life of the great rock and roll swindler, Malcolm McLaren, who died earlier this year. He was nominated for the programme by me. Here’s the blurb from the BBC website. “‘I’ve been called many things,; McLaren wrote as advance publicity for his one man(…)

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Chilean Miners and the Cold Light of Fame

It’s weird to consider the forthcoming global PR implications for the Chilean miners. It’s all too clear that this will be the biggest story in the world come Wednesday assuming that the men are released from the mine. It can’t be ignored – every news gathering organisation is surrounding the escape route as it nears(…)

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Starless in Hollywood

I’ve been travelling around California for the last 10 days, taking in the sights and sounds and meeting people on a research trip for a book on the ways that sexuality has been used to create fame. Hollywood is a spawning ground for media whores, after all. I thought I’d be taking time out of(…)

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Debating the wretchedness of Reality Television

I took part in the Cambridge Union debate last night, arguing for the proposition ‘This House Believes that Reality TV Represents Everything Wretched about Britain Today’. I underestimated the space, at how steeped in grandeur it is, and found myself more than a little nervous. The debate was well attended; over two thirds full. Joining(…)

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Stunt Deflation: The Balloon Boy Aftermath

It seems that there is a total sense of humour failure endemic throughout the world when it comes to stunts like the ‘Balloon Boy’ incident, as the ongoing trial of the parents proves – they apparently pleaded guilty only after the wife, who is Japanese, was threatened with deportation. Certainly, the need to think about(…)

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