Ellis Cashmore: 'He's shown rather a devilish streak. It's a good career move'

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The Independent Online

This faux pas - if that is what it is - has inadvertently turned into a new career move for David Beckham. He may have ruined one brand, but in the process has created something slightly different and rather more appealing.

This faux pas - if that is what it is - has inadvertently turned into a new career move for David Beckham. He may have ruined one brand, but in the process has created something slightly different and rather more appealing.

People were in danger of becoming bored to death by Beckham, The Guy Who is Purer Than Pure. He's shown rather a devilish streak - that he succumbs to temptation and has the same weaknesses as the rest of us. Such is the nature of celebrity that we tend to reward wrongdoing. His indiscretions are quite understandable.

I don't think he'll never crack the US; this latest episode is immaterial. They haven't seen the narrative of the red card, him going into hiding, the regal wedding. They see an interesting guy, but no history. He is eclipsed by the big US stars.When you have the rest of the world, that's not such a big deal.

This is not going to hurt him as much as it hurts her. She seems to be getting a mauling for actually doing nothing. The problem for Victoria is that she has been the architect behind his rise. She is the single greatest influence on his career. She is a student of celebrity culture and has seen the inside during her years as a Spice Girl.

Victoria created the Beckham phenomenon. Without her we would think of him in the same way as we think of Michael Owen or Alan Shearer, a good England player but not someone who is a global icon. But as his career goes into ascendancy, hers goes into decline.

Their careers have developed along parallel tracks, but now we will see a parting of the ways in branding terms.

The author is professor of culture, media and sport at Staffordshire University and author of "Beckham", an academic study of the cult of David Beckham

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