Leading Article: Fame fit for pigs

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THE DIFFERENT fates of Paul Gascoigne, Geri Halliwell and even some Tory politicians tell us quite a lot about the state of fame. The modern celebrity must fall, it seems, into one of two categories: those who make a little talent go a long way; and those whose genius is so fatally flawed that they self-destruct. So, Ginger Spice was not the most musically talented but capitalised on her flair as a businesswoman to emerge as prima inter Spices. Paul Gascoigne is the obvious flawed genius. Ann Widdecombe's career, fascinatingly, has straddled both categories; a political suicide attack on Michael Howard last year (flawed genius) was followed by a very skilful exploitation of formidable but narrow political skills to win her recent promotion.

Enter the pigs. The Tamworth Two are emphatically not flawed geniuses. Although they are highly intelligent creatures with correspondingly complex personalities, they will, probably, never bother to go drinking with Chris Evans. They got one good break down at the abattoir (for which they made sure they were 100 per cent fit) and they know how to hog the limelight on the back of it. One cannot blame them for charging pounds 1,500 per porcine appearance but this seems a damning, if comic, indictment on where celebrity stands today.

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