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I'm a columnist, get me out of here. By DA.

"I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here" is the title of a British TV show in which B-list celebs are made to suffer various indignities in a "jungle" in Australia. This unedifying spectacle is presided over by a pair of chirpy chappies known as Ant and Dec. A sure-fire winner I'm sure you'll agree?

I watched about ten minutes of it the other day, purely in the interests of scientific study of course, until I fell into dream-like state and had to be revived with a cup of tea some hours later. It did set me thinking though, about the nature of celebrity. Who are these people and why is anyone at all interested in whatever might happen to them? In fact, what is a celebrity?

I looked it up.

A celebrity, according to Chambers dictionary, is "a person of distinction or fame". Not too enlightening as the concept of fame is rather subjective. We have heard tell of famous fishermen or famous accountants but we really have no idea who they are, they are not celebrities, although in the case of the accountants they should certainly be sent to suffer in the jungle.

I think we must concentrate on the concept of distinction.

I looked it up.

Mr Chambers suggests: Noticeable Eminence: Outstanding merit; and best of all; Impressive and meritorious Individuality!

Now that's what I want to see! "I'm an Impressive and Meritorious Individual, Get me Out of Here", starring Patrick Moore, Sir Paul McCartney, Tony Benn, Carl Fogerty and Michael Fish. Don't agree? OK I'll drop Michael Fish and replace him with John Humphries and Prince Phillip, oh!, and Bagpuss.

You see it still comes back to the same subjective point; one man's celebrity is another man's "who the **** is that?" and it will always be so. The TV moguls had the best idea when they locked up a load of people that nobody had ever heard of, together in a house and televised the goings on.

I watch it quite regularly, it's called "The Parliament Channel".

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