Friday, 28 November 2008

Reality check

Being married to The Doctor, who has no idea who any celebrity is (I often wonder if he would recognise Madonna if she danced past him in Waitrose singing 'Like a Virgin'), I sometimes feel like a bit of an airhead for having a fairly good working knowledge of trashy celebrity culture. OK, so I know who Jordan and Peter are, know all the who said what to whoms of the Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt/Jennifer Aniston saga, and read articles in magazines about Gywneth Paltrow's collection of high heels. I may have an English degree, and have read Little Dorrit, but my head is full of trivia, which makes me good at pub quizzes but is otherwise pretty useless.

I also have a guilty liking for two reality TV shows; The Apprentice, which is my absolute favourite, and I'm a Celebrity, get me out of here, which is currently brightening up the cold November evenings. This is odd, because in general I don't like them; I avoided Big Brother after the first series, ditto X Factor and couldn't give a stuff about John Seargant on Stricly Come Dancing.

But the other day, at the hairdressers, I realised that my celebrity knowledge is not as encyclopaedic as I thought.....

It was 4pm and there were no other customers, just me, my hairdresser, the receptionist and another stylist from the salon. We got onto the subject of local celebrities, by way of discussing Gordon Ramsay and his alleged affair which has been all over the tabloids this week. ( "ooh, how could he. Those beautiful children..."etc etc)

I reeled off a few of my local celebrity sightings, which consist of Vivienne Westwood at my yoga class and Neil Pearson, ex Drop the Dead Donkey, at the gym. We shared a bit of local urban legend, such as Mark Owen from Take That living off the Northcote Road (he looks REALLY SCRUFFY, said the hairdressers disapprovingly). I thought that was pretty good. But no. They then launched into a whole stream of 'celeb spots' , consisting of people I had never even heard of, let alone would recognise.

"We had her, from Celebrity Come Dine with me, in here to do her highlights. You know the one." (I didn't)
"I saw Chico from X Factor on Lewisham station," (cue gales of laughter from the others - whether because it was a celebrity in Lewisham I don't know...)
"Y'know Brian from Big Brother, he lives right above the post office round here."
And (my favourite) "I saw Jerry from last year's Big Brother in Tesco's. Just, like, sitting there. Sitting there!"
At this point I had to opt out of the conversation. Oh dear. I clearly haven't kept up. It is a slippery slope and sooner or later I will turn into the kind of fogey who asks who the Beatles are.......

*The lovely Bush Mummy has awarded me a 'superior scribbler' award, so thank you very much. I will pass it on, but just not now because I have builders in my house and should not really be blogging at all......

18 comments:

Mud in the City said...

I'm trying to remember my celebrity spots now - I think my favourite has to be sitting next to Rolf Harris on a flight from Manchester. One of those moments you don't quite believe!

He was lovely too.

Nota Bene said...

You're clearly 'A' list, and your hairdresser 'C' list. My celeb things include Prince Edward for lunch, Paul McCartney in Brighton, Mel (?) from one of the early Big Brothers, Chantelle and her now ex-husband in Brighton, Zoe Wannamaker in Waitrose in Holloway Road, amateur dramatics with Chris Timothy (It shouldn't happen to a vet...oh I could go on all day!

The Dotterel said...

I shouldn't bother trying to keep up. In ten years time you'll qualify as a High Court Judge!

Audrey said...

My husband the vet is exactly the same with the celebrity thing. We had lunch one time in Blue Bird on the kinds road and this couple sat next to us. I gave my husband "the look" and he couldn't understand what I was getting at so I kept rolling my eyes. Anyway, when the couple next to us got up and left I was like, Duh, that was Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart. At least he had heard of Harrison Ford.

Audrey said...

Oops! That should read The Kings Road! I'm sure there are no "kind" roads in London!

Tara@Sticky Fingers said...

Angelina Jolie is my cousin twice removed.
Actually, that is a lie, but it made you goggle just a little bit didn't it!

Susanna (A Modern Mother) said...

I see Tim Henman every Saturday. Been seeing him for ages, though it was my husband who just pointed him out a few months ago. I knew he looked familiar, but I thought he was an IT salesman I had worked with...

Dumdad said...

My level of celeb awareness is about on a par with you. Despite living in Paris and not watching Brit TV, I still somehow keep up with the vacuous world of celebrity and stars.

I've never watched a reality show in my life but I have been sort of following through online newspapers the "I'm a Celeb get me out of the jungle" with Martina Navratilova, the Star Trek man, the woman with big boobs et al.

It's utter rubbish but somehow attractive.

Bush Mummy said...

I bumped into Harry from Spooks in Waitrose in Marlow. Nearly wet myself with excitement, Spooks being my all time favourite show. I asked him for his autograph and we chatted for a while. i have no shame.

I also phoned up Hugh Grant, drunk, on my 18th birthday (he was in the phone book) and talked to him for 10 minutes - he was lovely!

BM x

Paradise Lost In Translation said...

I'm with you on this one, hubby who has NO idea (& scorns my knowledge), an English degree to my name & loads of celebrity trivia knowledge even though I don't watch reality t.v shows (even before living in Albania..) Well 1 or 2 once or twice, but never got hooked enough to watch a whole series. I don't even buy Heat or any other mag regularly. BUT my excuse is with kids one spends so much time in drs, dentists, hairdressers, hospitals & I ALWAYS read the celeb gossip magazines (avidly actually)
My worst celeb encounter was asking Christopher Dean (as in Torvill *& Dean) to confirm his identity when buying something over his cheque card limit (cringe) I was a student working in John Lewis at the time.
My best was watching England in the Rugby World Cup semi final on t.v in a hotel WITH the England cricket team when they were touring Sri Lanka. Great atmosphere & really good fun. We were 2 of the only other Brits there watching so there was good camaraderie between us

Expat mum said...

Wait till the kids are teenagers. Everyone they mention is a total mystery to me, followed by much eye-rolling and looks of disbelief from them. I'm sure I never did that when my parents didn't know who Robert Plant or Cheryl Baker were.

Mom/Mum said...

Such a funny blog. I laughed at Bush Mummy phoning up Hugh Grant.I did that with my mates around the age of 19 except we phoned Damon Albarn from Blur. It didn't go well. We got the housekeeper who basically gave us a telling off.
I too feel so out of touch with celebs these days. Obviously all the reality TV on in England goes way over my head, and when i phone certain friends in the UK, I realise that without the lengthy discussions of what we watched on TV last night, we run out of stuff to talk about much quicker!
My former job meant I had to interview celebs, but it's the regualar moments when you bump into them unexpectedly that are the best. my faves:
ABC's Martin Fry buying me a drink at a Hives gig in London. Really nice bloke ti chat to.
Accidently running right into Stephen Fry in a theatre foyer, and stupidly saying, "Sorry, you're so tall!" (Duh!)
Helping Jude Law and his son Raffety carry their take out drinks from a coffee shop to their nearby car. With one flash of his smile, yes, I'd have done anything for him at that moment..

A Confused Take That Fan said...

Nappy I think it's a credit to you that you don't know who Jerry is from BB, neither do I!
Like mom/mum I met a fair few celebs through work but still always get excited when I see them doing normal every day things.
Hugh Fernly Whittingdale (orwhateverhismane is) buying his wife a cardi in Agnes B Covent Garden, Dom Joly at the Oyster bar in Heathrow, Chris Tarrant in a pub in Cannes, RObbie Williams in a club in London, Pierce Brosnan at a gig in Camden,Ricky Gervais at Toddington services, Bez in back to basics in Leeds in the 90s...
Love it! I'm always the drunk one saying, I must speak to them before I leave and end up standing on their feet or something.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hi you've been tagged! I'm a fan of "The Apprentice" too...I'm looking forward to hearing your tags (celebrity list) you sound as if you've met/seen tons! I haven't the foggiest with most people...absolutely clueless. I can't remember the names of people I do know never mind those of "celebs"...

Nunhead Mum of One said...

I saw James Nesbitt in Dulwich Sainsburys the other day and my jaw dropped unbecomingly - he looked horrible, manky old sheepskin and grey tinged beard. Bea (who was with me at the time) begged me not to embarass her by "grabbing hold of him". No fear matey!

nappy valley girl said...

Gosh, people have seen so many celebrities I don't know where to start (and I've left it far too late to reply to all the comments....)

So can I just single out Bush Mummy for her fabulous Hugh Grant story, Susanna for thinking Tim Henman was an IT salesman, and Mom/Mum for helping Jude Law carry his drinks! (I once also saw Jude in the Met bar - he had far more hair then than he does now...) And, Nunhead Mum, the hairdressers had also seen James Nesbitt locally - clearly he gets around South London...

Wife in Hong Kong said...

I sat behind Orlando Bloom in the theatre in London one evening. He sat very low in his seat throughout the performance and nipped out the minute the curtain fell to avoid star-gazers like myself, no doubt. And Simon and Yasmin le Bon wandered nonchalantly past our house in London one day when my boys were playing football in the road. I learnt later they lived round the corner but I only saw them once.

Grit said...

i'm with warhol. we are all celebrities in our own circles of stardom.