The Third Leader: Celebrity saviours

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The Independent Online

A lot of people knock our celebrity culture, but, on a wet day in January, I, for one, am grateful for the sheer excitement and simple fun famous people bring to a world otherwise overwhelmed by seriousness.

Rock musicians, for example, have long been important players in society as much for the offstage stuff as the on, the outrage and awe of the Sixties long since replaced by the indulgent affection that Spinal Tap so effectively, well, tapped. Even so, a special January award should go to Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream. The Glaswegian rocker, who used to practise as a boy drumming on dustbin lids and whose mother keeps a pub, complains that loud music from a pub is keeping him awake at night in his Islington home. Bobby, I salute and thank you. Rock'n'roll!

Meanwhile, a report suggests another reason why David Beckham plumped for Los Angeles: Victoria, apparently, plans to get her knees lifted there. Splendid. Staying bathed in Californian warmth, we should also give thanks for the Golden Globe Awards acceptance speeches, notably Forest Whitaker - "Ancestors that let me stand on their shoulders every day and guide me, whispering in my ear: thank you" - and America Ferrera, TVs "ugly Betty" - " Everything that I've ever accomplished in this life has been due to the strength and intelligence and will that you gave me, Mommy".

Marvellous. Should you require further diversion, let us ignore Naomi Campbell and thank instead the online celebrity column, Popbitch, for alerting us to Art Garfunkel's website, wherein you will find listed every book Art has read since June 1968. Enjoy!

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