I’m struggling to be shocked by David Beckham’s leaked emails, as it had never occurred to me that celebrities could be entirely motivated by altruism when they worked for charities. What I find more surprising is that so many celebs seem to be obsessed with who is getting what honour. Imagine being in a world where somebody getting an OBE or a knighthood before you was a cause of serious angst. If someone was idiotic enough to nominate me for an award, I’d feel duty bound to refuse. Partly because the honours system is outdated, but mainly because who wants to be confused with someone who might have donated large amounts of cash to a political party? Or has just been on TV a lot? Not that I can’t be bought. It’s just that I have a different price. I’ve always longed for a university to award me an honorary doctorate. Remarkably, no offers have so far been forthcoming.
Much more disturbing than Becks is the sight of Barack Obama swanning around on holiday with Richard Branson. A little piece of me died when I saw those photos of a man I had admired for his liberal values kitesurfing off Necker Island. Though it does fit into my worldview that sometimes in the celebrity world contacts can be carefully mediated to the advantage of both parties. Someone I once vaguely knew never had a single girlfriend until he acquired some low-level celebrity status. By coincidence, his very first girlfriend had an almost identical low level of celebrity status….