Hello and a very warm welcome to my newly relaunched blog. I'm Paul a 40 year old family man from the UK. In this complex, information overload 21st century world, too often we lose sight of what's really important. Here I want to celebrate life, share inspirational stories, throw the spotlight on charities and causes close to my heart. Looking forward to sharing this journey with you all.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Celebrities in just getting on with their every day lives shocker!

As it's another ridiculously busy week day once again I'm afraid I'm  short on time to write up some fresh material. This is a piece I wrote as a kind of an antidote to the seemingly endless media obsession with the frequently trivial goings on in the desperately attention seeking lives of minor celebrities.

My point here is that when all's said and done they are just people, subject to the same human frailities as the rest of us. So here's my alternative take on the world of celebrity. Please let me know what you think.

Celebrities in just getting on with their every day lives shocker!
I concede it’s perhaps not the most attention grabbing of headlines.

With the endless ridiculously distorted hyping of so-called celebrity figures in today’s media, as an antidote I’ve decided to share a few of the various real-world encounters I’ve had with some well known folk.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to ramble on about the time I helped choose some tropical fish for George Clooney or played cards with Sasha Distell - really I’m far too discreet…. :)

Quite the reverse really, I want to celebrate the terribly ordinariness of the vast majority of such encounters and also pay tribute to the other people in these situations who most likely recognise said folk but don’t launch into hysterical behaviour as a result

Was it just an illusion?

The main inspiration for writing this has come about via a brief encounter a few weeks ago which occurred in a standard issue Starbucks caf√© somewhere in Central London

There I was putting my feet up and taking a quick lunchtime breather from work, sucking back my Chocolate frappe and typing up my latest review on my laptop, when in walks none other than British TV illusionist man of the moment, Mr Derren Brown. In such situations, you always feel the need to do a non-too obvious double take, but it all checked out. The trade mark brown hat, the softly spoken lilt in his voice, that unmistakably mesmerizing look about him.

He came in, went to the toilet, picked up his cup of tea and sat down to work on his laptop, no doubt taking full advantage of the wireless service available.

No one so much as batted an eyelid; he could get on and do whatever he wanted to do in absolute peace. Now I grant you, if this was pub kicking out time and this was a KFC there would likely have been an all together different reaction even from my good self, and I’d feel hard pressed not to make some nonsense look at me I recognise you and I’m witty remark by bring up the similarities between his pointy old beard and that of Colonel Saunders, but lets not be silly here. Unlike his telly persona he was unassuming, straightforward, just going about his business

And surely that’s how it should be?

So why do tabloid newspapers feel the need to dedicate an entire front page to headlines like “Has Amy Winehouse had her boobs done in secret?”

Legends walking quietly amongst us

Naturally we all admire celebrities who have really achieved something.

No better examples of that than 3 legendary sportsmen who I am proud to say I have seen out and about. A European Champions league football winner, a world champion athlete and former world record holder and even a Rugby world cup winning captain – people who could easily be out there giving it the big I am.

Image via Wikipedia
On one occasion, I saw Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs get off the team bus at Birch services near Manchester just to stretch his legs. A few months later I spied Colin Jackson calmly making his way on the tube to Notting Hill the day after I’d seen in the news that he’d just had his long held 110M hurdles world record beaten. Then, at Northampton services none other than the unmistakeable 6ft 8 man mountain that is Martin Johnson. Former England captain, England coach, a leader of men. Just outside on his phone, sipping back his coffee. 3 blokes really worthy of adulation and praise, but just going about their business, no entourage, no nonsense.

Now wash your hands

My absolute favourite encounter was my, to date at least, one and only brush with the then leading man of the land. Back in 2002 while working on a project to deliver IT infrastructure for the brand new state of the art National College for School Leadership one Prime Minister Anthony Blair came to give it the official opening.

For all the fanfare, police searches and accompanying cavalcade I watched him unveil the plaque and then just headed back to my desk assuming he had headed off to address the conference.

Looking back on it I did think it a little strange that 3 suited and burly security guards were patrolling right by the toilets as I went in, but I figured it was just part of the general extra security.

Inside as I headed in, there to my enormous surprise, was old Tony just finishing off a number one and zipping up. As I followed him shortly afterwards to the sink, another middle aged white chap walked in rather scruffily dressed unlike the rest of the suited and booted delegates.

“Blimey” he says “I’m surprised they let me in while you are in here.”

Quick as a flash Tony replies “Why, you’re not dangerous are you? “,then added his trademark nervous “Ha ha!” just to complete the surreal experience.

That day he was a man under pressure. The same morning, his education secretary had resigned just before he was about to make a key note speech to the Headmasters college. Yet here he was, just for a few moments able to relax.

Whatever you think of those in the public eye, please remember they are only human.

Later on I saw on the news that he was in France at a European summit shaking hands with Jaques Chirac.

A little part of me smirked – only I knew whether Tony had washed his hands properly

Image via Wikipedia

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