Wednesday, May 14, 2008

how many celebrities are famous?

Ages back I talked about slimy fucker Debi Jones (shopping channel presenter and the Conservatives prospective parliamentary candidate for Sefton Central), and marvelled at the way her website is titled 'Debi Jones TV Presenter Celebrity Official Website'; she self-defines as a celebrity.

There's something so smug about someone doing that, and also something bizarre in wanting to be recognised not for what made you famous but merely for the fact of being famous. It suggests that all forms of celebrity are somehow equal, that Martine McCutcheon and Douglas Hurd are in the same sort of role.

A solitary person self-defining as celebrity is one thing. It's altogether different to have an organisation called - I shit you not - The Celebrities Guild of Great Britain.

You just know Ernie Wise initiated the whole thing, don't you?

It was set up in 1977 and raises funds for people with disabilities. Their tagline, on every page of the website, is 'helping the handicapped'. They don't seem to have updated that since 1977 either. Why not have 'Patting the Cripples' instead?

My favourite bit of the site is the Gallery. Ten pictures and even with those and the names I can only recognise five. Some are too easy - a newsreader is sort of cheating, we've all seen them thousands of times even though they've never done anything themselves and we can't say anything about them as people. Frank Carson's kind of cheating as well, not being from Great Britain himself. Still, they make up for it with Bob Holness, the man who blew the mighty sax on Baker Street. Probably.

Weirdly, it wasn't actually Ernie Wise but someone called Ella Glazer who set the guild up. Surely to set up a celebrities guild you'd need to be, I dunno, a celebrity? Try finding out what she's done apart from the Guild. There's an IMDB page for someone of that name. Its single entry is a 'thanks' credit in a movie.

Then again, the standard of celebrity doesn't seem to be that high. Today sees them doing a celebrity golf tournament. Among superstars like Bobby Davro and Lance Percival are some bafflingly obscure names, and some vague bell-ringers. Like Jill Dando before she was killed, you might know the name but you can't picture them.

Using only your existing knowledge and without recourse to Google, how many of these celebrity golfers can you not only recognise the name but say what they're famous for and clearly put a face to in your mind?

Clive Allen,
Luther Blissett,
Ian Botham,
Martin Bicknell,
Tony Cottee,
Bob Champion,
Phil Daniels,
Bobby Davro,
Graham Dene,
Mike Denness,
John Embury,
Derek Fowlds,
Theo Foley,
Trevor Harris,
Stewart Houston,
Roy Holder,
Cliff Jones,
Derek Martin,
Frank McLintock,
Nicholas Parsons,
Lance Percival,
Robert Powell,
Ian Rush,
Steve Rider,
Alan Smith,
Willie Thorne,
Claire Tomlinson,
Jimmy White,
Rory Underwood,
Roger Uttley,
Ray Wilkins,
John Virgo.

I score only seven out of 32.


Fantasy Writer Guy said...

I scored zero. Is that bad?

John said...

Is "Helping the Handicapped" meant to be some sort of golfing pun?

It HAS to be a spoof.

Rosie said...

just the one - and even then only because he was in the shredded wheat ads. at least i think that's him...

have just discovered your blog via Chris de Burgh. you've made my day.

merrick said...

Fantasy Writer Guy, have you not had a telly or radio for the last 50 years? Not even heard of Nicolas Parsons? Blimey! you make me feel more like a hip kid and less like one of those musty judges who has to have it explained to them what a Beatle is.

John, I did think about trying to do some sort of pun on 'handicap', but couldn't phrase it up. If it were only on the page about the golf (and by the way, it would be fucking golf wouldn't it?) then it could possibly be a poor (and poor taste) pun. But as it's on every page and seemingly pre-dates the announcement of the golf thingy, I'm thinking it has to be real. Sheesh.

Rosie, watch this space - I've uncovered terrifying new De Burgh information and will be blogging it very soon. If the lizard troops don't take me out first for knowing too much, obviously.

Anonymous said...

I scored 8...highest so far. Go me! maybe lots of the others are sporting figures which explains why I've never heard of them

Paul said...

Wooo! Wooo! Go me! Go Me!!!


That's more than anyone else in the whole world.

So far anyway. Is this the same Debi Jones that used to be on Radio Merseyside?

Anonymous said...

I got 6 out of 32. I'm kind of freaked out that two of them are snooker players, though. How the hell did that happen?

(Actually I know the answer to that, and it involves cannabis)

Grinnyguy said...

I got twelve, but if you cut out sportspeople I'm only on 2!

merrick said...

Grinnyguy, why would cutting out sportspeople come into it? They have every right to be considered celebrities!

Paul, it is indeed the same rentagob bigot Debi Jones that used to be on Radio Merseyside. check out the post I link to for more on her career. The scary thing is, given the Conservatives' ascending star, she may well be an MP after the next general election.

Anonymous said...

Gods help me I got fifteen.

Sixteen if you count the other Luther Blissett...
...who must be more interesting as a golfer than any of the others.

peacockpie said...

I got thirteen, though also thought it was the other Luther Blissett...
But what disturbed me was that I really, truly, did think that Lance Percival was dead. I felt sure I'd read his obituary ages ago. But he's still playing golf. I see. Mind you, golf is that kind of game, really, isn't it? Where you don't have to be alive to take part, but it helps.

merrick said...

Peacockpie, surely if you were thinking of the other Luther Blissett then you couldn't put a face to the name in your mind?

Incidentally, i recently found out that the Guild's fave nicholas Parsons was in a rock movie.

After A Hard Day's Night was such a success, there was a slew of British beat group movies and Spencer Davis Group's effort was The Ghost Goes Gear, starring parsons as their manager Algernon Plumley.

The title alone is enough to make me never want to see it.

Anonymous said...

just the one