I believe I do recognise Barry Linneker - you know the chap they wrote about, “An Evening with Barry Linnerker,” the one who advertises Smiths crisps, Every time I untwist one of those little blue sachets of salt in my packet of crisps my thoughts drift contentedly to Barry thinking that he too, at that very moment might be enjoying his blast of fats and sugars from his very own packet of crisps. Although what a rugby player has got to do with the advertising of potato crisps I haven’t the faintest idea. Half of all advertising is completely lost on me, because I simply do not recognise the people ‘doing’ the ads and who – presumably – are meant to add something to the product’s value or credibility.

For example there’s a television ad on at the moment featuring a very pleasant looking young woman playing the piano – but the advertisement is all about shampoo. Now, is it me? Because I neither recognise the woman, nor the piano nor the music she is playing. I’m sorry, but it’s completely lost on me! Then there is an advert for a new Gillette product featuring three young men in sharp suits. One of them is – I think – a looser from “The Apprentice,” but not entirely certain. The only I message I get from that piece of clever advertising is: “if you’re runner-up, use Gillette!” Surely that can’t be right? And then there’s a piece of ‘in-house’ advertising on one of the channels where the two people presenting the advert are offering a prize of “spending day with them cooking! Well gee-whiz!!! What a tempting offer. I can’t tell you how much I can’t wait to spend a whole day of my life with two complete unknowns who are more likely than not to be so far up their own backsides and self-interested, that their cooking skills are at the best dubious and whose interests in enthusing the lucky winner in the culinary arts are nil.

The growing obsession with so-called celebrity status is completely lost on me. I suppose if Marlene Dietrich or Victor Mature or personalities of that ilk, were walking down the road past my house, I might be tempted to glance out of the window to look (especially as they’ve both been dead for years!!!), but why on earth would I want to gawp at Cate Blanchette, or Angelina Whotsherface, or Johnny Depp or even less anyone appearing in a television soap! What’s the attraction? What is it that makes them interesting so that I would go out of my way to see them walk by? Now if you were talking about life-saving doctors and nurses, or our heroes serving out in Iraq and Afghanistan; or teachers who daily have to face the awesome responsibility of educating our youngsters, or policemen who try to keep our streets safe. Now people like that are worthy of praise and demand both my interest and my admiration.

I was listening on the wireless this morning to a recording of Kate Winslett when she was recently given a Dafta or Golden Balls or something. Her acceptance speech made her look like a complete and utter ass – totally self-obsessed and full of her own imagined importance – her breathless and well rehearsed gushing were as false and cringe-making as this whole cliquey, self-congratulatory award process has become. With The Oscars we are about to go through it all again when all the luvvies held together by grease paint and plastic surgery, flatter themselves with self-indulgent compliments, while the real heroes get on and do their jobs, often with little thanks and small reward.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love cinema and love theatre – and go as often as I can – but that is no reason to catapult those in the entertainment industry into stardom. They are entertainers. They are pretenders and illusionists. It simply doesn’t compare to a teacher who day-in and day-out stands before a group of children; or a nurse who holds the hand of dying patient; or a policeman who puts himself in danger in order to arrest a criminal; or a serviceman on the front line.

I mean…just because David Beckham wears Gucci under drawers, why would I want a pair as well?

Comments on this entry:

  1. … and so say all of us!

    — Heather · Sunday 22 February, 2009 · #

  2. Cantankerous musings Graeme, but a heartfelt agreement!

    — Richard Williams · Sunday 22 February, 2009 · #

  3. grumpy
    Myleene Klass was a straight A student and studied voice at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She then won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, where she finished top of her class.

    Myleene Klass then worked as a session musician and singer for amongst others, Robbie Williams.

    Her talents first became known to a wide public audience when she was selected in the first series of Popstars to form part of Hear’Say.

    Eventually the band disbanded and Myleene Klass landed a deal with a classical music record label and released a classical piano album ‘Moving On’ in 2003.
    quite clever for some one who advertises shampoo

    — peter · Wednesday 25 February, 2009 · #