The Third Leader: Star treatment

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The Independent Online

It's fashionable to sneer at this, and, certainly, I must confess to a bit of it myself, which, in the responsible way you would expect, I have been attempting to analyse. I have considered the earnestness, the ubiquity, and also the inconsistencies in, say, Sting advertising cars, or Prunella Scales promoting Tesco, purveyor of out-of-town supermarkets to rural England, when she was president of the Council for its Protection; I have pondered on the rightness of using popularity in one sphere to influence another; and I have concluded that really I'm just envious, mean-spirited and available for voice-overs.

What we need is more of it. Sure, Sir Bob has had a global go (and that is another often overlooked celebrity virtue, lack of false modesty) but there are many areas that remain untested by appropriate celebrity action. Dame Ellen MacArthur, for example, could speak up for Travellers. Catherine Zeta Jones could buy Wales. Jordan could launch a Middle East initiative. Sir Elton could revive high street spending. Julie: keep at it. But you should have got Freddie to sign.

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