Friday, July 27, 2007

Fame, fame, fatal fame...

When I was small, I wanted to be famous. I used to think everybody did. Now I can imagine no worse fate than having a recognisable face. Of course, it’s not just your face they’re interested in: it’s your cellulite, your skinniness, your wrinkles and your spots. Each blemish magnified and laid bare for criticism. They reckon you’re fair game.

To my chagrin, I must confess to surfing the Daily Mail’s website while I have my lunch. Every few weeks, someone else is ‘It’. At the moment, it’s Amy Winehouse. Amy, apparently, is too thin, and her lifestyle is taking its toll on her looks. Before her, it was Kate Moss. Photographs of 30-something Kate are compared to Kate when she was a teenager. Goodness, can you see the difference? Kate’s lifestyle is apparently taking its toll on her looks. For a while, it was Sienna Miller. How dare Sienna, the paper intimates, dare to be blonde, good looking, and managing to survive without Jude Law? I think the Daily Mail should just be done with it, and call itself the Daily Misogynist.

In my radio days, I had two pseudo-stalkers. The most recent called himself my “biggest fan”, and would telephone the newsroom when I was reading late night and weekend bulletins. Where, he would ask, could he see me perform? Surely I acted as well? It would be a shame not to, he said, with a voice like mine. A few years earlier, at a different radio station, I would receive frilly cards riddled with bad spelling from an ‘admirer’. He would call reception and ask to speak to me. I always refused. Then, I think (I can’t be sure), I met him while ordering drinks at a bar. A surprisingly normal looking person asked me where I was from. “The North East,” I replied. “So is M&M on the radio,” he said. “You sound like her. She’s from Newcastle, you know. Do you know her?” I quickly made my excuses and fled.

I was uncomfortable, although not unduly worried by these experiences. But imagine that magnified by a million and happening every day. When I am a famous author, I shall have a pen name. I shall invent a history for the book jacket. At book signings, I shall wear a black wig, huge black sunglasses and scarlet lipstick. No one will ever know it’s me.

16 comments:

Gill said...

sorry you can't be a famous author- JK Rowling is it!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

For a pen name may I suggest either Red Biro or Papermate Freeflow?

@themill said...

And the grey mare will love you whatever you are.

Stay at home dad said...

We will now!

Gill said...

and then of course you have to finish writing your novel, get an agent,find a publisher, sell zillions of copies of your book...

Gill said...

black wig, huge black sunglasses and red lipstick- are you michael jackson?

rilly super said...

M&M, Liz Taylor has that look copyrighted. Just me yourself dear. I'm sure that chap has moved on to stalking Lisa shaw by now anyway

Mopsa said...

You could have as much fun making up an alter ego as writing the book. Mind you, it might be a somewhat schizophrenic experience. And just because skunk is category B.

rilly super said...

When you're famous perhaps these obsessive fans will release bootleg tapes on youtube of your local radio news broadcasts and all over the country men will be breathing heavily over your traffic reports. 'tailbacks on the bowes incline..' oh yes yes yes...'and the redheugh bridge is closed because someone dropped a feather and it blew slightly sideways..' ooooooooohhhhhhh

The Grocer said...

Ah you need to give up the illicit rendezvous's with the Daily Mail, who cares about the rich and famous. It's only because it continues to sell newspapers/get hits they carry on with it, if we all stopped buying tomorrow and swapped to the broadsheets the comics might have to deal with some serious news.

Arthur Clewley said...

It's worse than that Rilly, someone has posted up this video this video filmed outside M&M's office!

Lord Straf-Bollinger said...

But you are famous, M&M - you're a famous blogger!

Brom said...

My mates missus, then girlfriend is a radio newsreader. It's not every chap that can point at the car radio and proclaim, "That's my girlfriend"

Omega Mum said...

Would you go for total anonymity? You'd have to, or else identify and then execute all your kiss and tell friends before publication date. And if you went for anonymity, how would you cope with all your nearest and dearest slagging off your masterpiece without chipping in? Or is this a double bluff, in which case you're already incredibly famous yet keeping down to earth by consorting with real people like us to ensure common touch in future novels.Sorry. Stopping now and having drink and more sedatives.

Karen said...

I used to want to be Bonnie Langford as a child. I wanted to sing and dance and act etc. Now I couldn't think of anything worse, the idea of being on stage terrifies me!

funny how you can be so brave as a child and do a complete turnaround by the time you become and adult. i'm really shy now!

Lizzie said...

When you're really famous, could I please carry your bags & bask in the shade of your reflected glory? And what colour hair should I have to wear, please? Would I be recognised too?

Lizzie x