I think it’s fair to say that down here in Cornwall people don’t seem to be that bothered by celebrity. Film and TV stars wander around and locals look at them briefly wondering where they recognise them or give a nod and a hi and go on their way. The other day a group of us were on a dog walk and passed Dawn French, we all nodded and smiled, as you do when you pass someone on a footpath, and continued on. No great shakes, no gushing, no autographs, we just get on with it and we let people get on with their lives as well. I’ve often heard singers and the like who live in Cornwall giving interviews on the radio saying that living in Cornwall is great because everyone treats them just like anyone else. A while back my brother met Andrew Ridgley at a dinner party; did they talk about Wham, the fame, the fortune? Nope, they discussed their golfing handicaps and pudding.
So all these recent stories concerning Jimmy Saville has made me think about the way people behave towards famous people. Whilst he hasn’t been convicted of anything it does appear that over the decades there have been numerous complaints against him that were ignored, hushed up or just not believed. Can you imagine how scary and humiliating the world must have seen to these young girls? To have such terrible things happen to them but then to not be believed either? It really does beggar belief. Was he so well respected that no one would believe it or was there a culture of cover up going on or was the money he raised in fund raising really worth turning a blind eye for? I find the whole affair hard to understand. I always thought he was an unpleasant character and when he died I heard comments from some along the lines of “let’s see what will comes out of the woodwork” but I couldn’t believe anything would. Just because someone seems creepy doesn’t mean that they are, and surely, surely no one could get away with so much when they were so frequently in the public eye?
In the same week Lance Armstrong has been found guilty of illegal drug use. He denies the claims but won’t contest them and now a whole host of people have come forward to say his cheating was constant over the years. Again, the only way for him to get away with it was with massive support from his team members. It seems so harsh that a man who survived cancer and went on to win massively will now only be remembered as a drugs cheat.
I just think the UK media needs to take a look at how Cornwall does things and follow suit. Treat people at face value, don’t allow them to get away with stuff just because they are famous and say well done only when something is well done.