Luke Blackall: Team GB hit the town

Man About Town: All hail the new King and Queen of England
  • @lukeblackall

"Ladies and gentlemen, we've got the Queen of England in here tonight..." Ian Brown told the eager audience: "Jessica Ennis!" The crowd cheered. "We've also got the King of England... Bradley Wiggins." Cue more roars.

The Stone Roses secret gig in east London this week was always going to be a popular affair. Through the door came a stream of the very famous, including Jimmy Page and Paul Weller. But it was those clutching medals from the nearby 2012 games, who were attracting the most attention.

"Team GB" even had their own VIP area at the show, as famous faces queued up to talk and have photos with them (the not so famous did that too – as you can see from the picture below).

But this phenomenon wasn't just at the concert. Every night this week, London clubs Chinawhite, Mahiki and the temporary Omega House have all seen teams of athletes racing past their velvet ropes, where they are welcomed with open bars. Indeed, an Olympic medal has become the ultimate VIP pass in London, opening any door, however exclusive.

Many would prefer that these were the people our media focused their camera lenses and column inches on, rather than the ever-increasing number of interchangeable gossip-column fodder.

And why not? By doing nothing more than existing, one medallist will achieve more of value in their lifetimes than the entire vacuous cast of The Only Way is Essex.

Theirs is a celebrity which is tangible, credible and honourable. They have reached the top. The rivalries that help shape their characters are real. Fame is not their primary aim.

But there's a flaw in that plan. Modern celebrity demands imperfection. We don't want our Olympians getting drunk and fighting with photographers. And with their cellulite-free thighs, what will celebrity magazines say when printing pictures of them on the beach?

Let's not subject them to ritual humiliation. Just let these ambassadors come around every few years, to remind us who we should really look up to.