The Sunday Telegraph published an excellent review of The Fame Formula by Jenny McCartney, alongside Look at Me by Peter Whittle, yesterday; a small chink of light in a day mostly coloured by the death of my old friend Ken Campbell, who helped me launch the book only a month ago.
Jenny McCartney enjoys an insider’s view of how celebrity got where it is today
In the past decade, the British hunger for celebrity has grown to frenzied proportions: the public now consumes its ready-made stars as quickly as a bag of crisps. Yet who is it that first shapes and then flogs these fictions that strut before us for a month, a year or a decade?
Mark Borkowski’s The Fame Formula, a history of the publicist’s art, could not have come at a more appropriate time – but then, as a publicity man himself, Borkowski knows all about timing.
This is the story of how the publicity profession grew from the knowing stunts performed by the American showman P. T. Barnum (who entertained crowds with a sassy five-year-old midget known as ‘General Tom Thumb’) to the near-total control over client and press practised by the modern-day Hollywood uber-agent Pat Kingsley…
To read the full review, click here.