Aim your turnips – here come the celebs

In the wake of the mediastorm over whether Brad and Ange are done for good, Frank Skinner discusses why money, fame and beauty can’t go unpunished. Read the rest on Times Online.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are suing the News of the World for saying their relationship is crumbling. It seems the famous couple don’t fully understand their role in society. Celebrity is a modern-day pillory. You have to endure a certain amount of rotten vegetables. A few years back, I was one of several British comedians taking part in a penalty shoot-out at Villa Park. A generous sponsor had agreed to give £1,000 to Comic Relief for every goal scored. As the jeering and catcalls rained down upon us, one well- known comic said to me: “You know, when celebrities did something like this 25 years ago, they got cheers and affectionate applause.”

He was right, of course, but people nowadays have a more complicated relationship with fame. Celebrities get good money, the best tables in restaurants and more sex than they intrinsically merit, so it seems right that there should be some payback. Though I myself have some experience of celebrity, I still participate in that collective resentment towards the well-known. I don’t want to read about them winning gongs and playing happy families. I want to read about trouble in paradise.

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