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BurntBread

Behind the mask

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Just reading the "£500m fortune or nothing" thread, and it's turning into a good old-fashioned "feet of clay" discussion, so I thought we might draw that out in another thread.

Very occasionally, I hear one of the shows on radio when a celebrity retires, and s/he gets the "this is your life" treatment (it doesn't work when they have died). What's interesting to me is that all these guys are actors, and so we never get to see the real people behind the constructed personas. For comedians, especially, who build a single golem to face the world, I find it very hard not to assume that what I see is also the reality. Anyway, these celebratory retirement shows seem to sometimes be relaxed enough that the masks slip - not for the person in question, but for some of their "friends" in the business, and you see the catty, competitive people behind the façade.

I guess I'm just being shallow and lazy on a Sunday morning, but I'd appreciate learning who, from those in the public eye, are (surprisingly) genuinely nice people, and who have mastered the art of appearing to be good, decent characters.

From previous threads, it would appear that David Attenborough and Jeremy Clarkson fall into the latter category. My guess is that Alexi Sayle might be in the former; while Rik Mayall created a ridiculously over-the-top selfish bastard comic character, which turned out not to be a mask at all.

Any other candidates, or tales from those in the know? I'm hoping TMT will chip in with some stories: he must have a wealth from his TV days.

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I have read that Peter Sellers had "no internal life"; that is to say that there was no longer a real Peter Sellers, just the roles he inhabited.

When he did this Parkinson interview he had to come on as a character first.

 

Of the Monty Pythons someone ?Terry Gillam said the short ones were nice but the tall ones weren't.  So Michael Palin and Terry Jones were nice people.

 

 

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From what I've been told, Cilla Black must come near the top of this list.

Mrs H. did some work for the wife of a now deceased famous comedian. The comedian himself was supposed to be quite a nice guy however the wife was one of the most poisonous, toxic, breathtakingly unpleasant people she's ever encountered. So bad that she binned the job off almost immediately.

During the short time she did work for her she had to deal with other people who had 'experienced' this woman and the universal reaction to her name ranged from a disgusted look to outright spitting hate. She struggles to actually get any work done for her in the local area as everyone who's met her simply refuses to work for her ever again. Mrs H. said she'd never seen anything like it.

Anyway, the guy must have had a rock-solid public facade if that was the sort of thing he was going back to every night.

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1 minute ago, Sgt Hartman said:

From what I've been told, Cilla Black must come near the top of this list.

Mrs H. did some work for the wife of a now deceased famous comedian. The comedian himself was supposed to be quite a nice guy however the wife was one of the most poisonous, toxic, breathtakingly unpleasant people she's ever encountered. So bad that she binned the job off almost immediately.

During the short time she did work for her she had to deal with other people who had 'experienced' this woman and the universal reaction to her name ranged from a disgusted look to outright spitting hate. She struggles to actually get any work done for her in the local area as everyone who's met her simply refuses to work for her ever again. Mrs H. said she'd never seen anything like it.

Anyway, the guy must have had a rock-solid public facade if that was the sort of thing he was going back to every night.

That's actually my internal, not-scientific approach to celebs.  Look at the spouse. 

  • If they appear fairly normal and they've been together for ages, then I'd put them down as 'niceish, normalish'.
  • Those with a succession of trophy spouses I put down to being a complex facade.

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Met a few, the only decent one that I look forward to and enjoy spending time with is Attenborough. Funnily enough, or sadly, most people treat him very badly and make his public life a misery.

Edited by Hopeful

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24 minutes ago, Hopeful said:

Met a few, the only decent one that I look forward to and enjoy spending time with is Attenborough. Funnily enough, or sadly, most people treat him very badly and make his public life a misery.

Surprised to hear that. In what way?

I had a quiet and pleasant chat with Simon Pegg a few years ago while waiting for a pizza at a festival. All was well and good until this bloke recognised him and made an almighty prick of himself taking pictures, calling his mates over for a look and just generally just being a loud obnoxious, in-your-face arsehole.

Eventually Pegg had enough and abandoned his place in the queue to retreat behind a velvet rope somewhere. I felt quite sorry for the guy. If I had to deal with people like that day in, day out, I think I'd lose my shit.

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7 minutes ago, Sgt Hartman said:

Surprised to hear that. In what way?

I had a quiet and pleasant chat with Simon Pegg a few years ago while waiting for a pizza at a festival. All was well and good until this bloke recognised him and made an almighty prick of himself taking pictures, calling his mates over for a look and just generally just being a loud obnoxious, in-your-face arsehole.

Eventually Pegg had enough and abandoned his place in the queue to retreat behind a velvet rope somewhere. I felt quite sorry for the guy. If I had to deal with people like that day in, day out, I think I'd lose my shit.

What you describe x 1000+, it is everywhere he goes. He really needs the sort of protection that the senior Royals have, i.e. a couple of people who will secure a 3t clear zone around you.

He is mobbed by the public, other celebs, and educated people whom I'm surprised all don't know better. Weverywhere he gose he has pieces of paper and pens thrust at him. I really do have some horrific stories where his and mine eyes have met and rolled at parties/events and we've just buggered off somewhere else.

 

 

Edited by Hopeful

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38 minutes ago, Hopeful said:

Met a few, the only decent one that I look forward to and enjoy spending time with is Attenborough. Funnily enough, or sadly, most people treat him very badly and make his public life a misery.

Possibly because he's a sanctimonious, superior, patronising cunt? Just a guess.

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Just now, Hopeful said:

You are way off the mark there

Possibly, but it's how I feel whenever I encounter his output. Lecturing me about how I'm hurting some poor bit of fauna through my lifestyle, having flown across the World to stick a camera up it's nest.

Actually, I take back any hint of a retraction. He is just a sanctimonious, superior, patronising cunt

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10 minutes ago, Hopeful said:

What you describe x 1000+, it is everywhere he goes. He really needs the sort of protection that the senior Royals have, i.e. a couple of people who will secure a 3t clear zone around you.

He is mobbed by the public, other celebs, and educated people whom I'm surprised all don't know better. Weverywhere he gose he has pieces of paper and pens thrust at him. I really do have some horrific stories where his and mine eyes have met and rolled at parties/events and we've just buggered off somewhere else.

 

 

A shame. I'd be embarrassed to find myself fawning over some bloke on the tellybox, no matter how famous. Strange how some people react.

My Mum saw Attenborough walking down Oxford high street a while back, she left him alone (despite being a big fan) but she also said he was being mobbed left right and centre and she would have felt an idiot getting involved.

She also said she was surprised by how stacked he was, very tall and broad shouldered. I think she fancies him to be honest. 

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6 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

I didn't like his comments about Brexit but I'm not going to damn him because of that one thing.

I didn't know about that and have just googled an Independent article on the subject. To say he has not gone up in my estimation would be an understatement.

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17 minutes ago, eight said:

Possibly, but it's how I feel whenever I encounter his output. Lecturing me about how I'm hurting some poor bit of fauna through my lifestyle, having flown across the World to stick a camera up it's nest.

Actually, I take back any hint of a retraction. He is just a sanctimonious, superior, patronising cunt

Lecturing, Not sure he lectures, he just presents.

Don't forget, the So-Called BBC natural history programmes like the recent Blue Planet (it was crap btw) are not his productions. Attenborough is just employed to present and narrate them because his voice and style will sell them. Attenborough narrates them with the script he is given that is written for him in his style (I've written for him but not for the So-Called BBC), although he will have input to the style and wouldn't say anything he disagreed with.

Attenborough is phenominally knowledgeable, but that is a result of all the specialist people he has met and all the opportunitites he has had to see the natural world during his life.

A few years ago he did decide to come off the fence about climate change, but he is only describing the warming effects on the natural world that we need to understand from his priviliged perspective.

But, would it be better if we didn't know anything and carried on ignorance? Keep chucking plastic in the sea, or using DDT as if there was no tomorrow? With information we can make decisions. It's then up to people the decisions they make.

Edited by Hopeful

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2 hours ago, dgul said:

That's actually my internal, not-scientific approach to celebs.  Look at the spouse. 

  • If they appear fairly normal and they've been together for ages, then I'd put them down as 'niceish, normalish'.
  • Those with a succession of trophy spouses I put down to being a complex facade.

I think there is a pattern there somewhere. One bloke I used to work for was a relatively famous movie director. Lovely bloke, behind-the-set passes for some of the guys who were fans, cups of tea etc.

His wife, on the other hand, was a weapons grade shit.

Edited by Sgt Hartman

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4 minutes ago, Sgt Hartman said:

A shame. I'd be embarrassed to find myself fawning over some bloke on the tellybox, no matter how famous. Strange how some people react.

My Mum saw Attenborough walking down Oxford high street a while back, she left him alone (despite being a big fan) but she also said he was being mobbed left right and centre and she would have felt an idiot getting involved.

She also said she was surprised by how stacked he was, very tall and broad shouldered. I think she fancies him to be honest. 

He's a big broad shoulderd guy and walking tall again now he's had his knees done

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2 minutes ago, Hopeful said:

But, would it be better if we didn't know anything and carried on ignorance? Keep chucing plastic in the sea, or using DDT as if there was no tomorrow.

Any other activities I've never partaken of that you and he would like me to refrain from?

 

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9 minutes ago, Sgt Hartman said:

A shame. I'd be embarrassed to find myself fawning over some bloke on the tellybox, no matter how famous. Strange how some people react.

My Mum saw Attenborough walking down Oxford high street a while back, she left him alone (despite being a big fan) but she also said he was being mobbed left right and centre and she would have felt an idiot getting involved.

She also said she was surprised by how stacked he was, very tall and broad shouldered. I think she fancies him to be honest. 

Even private parties, unless small, turn into a scrum. never once asked for his autograph, but as he prefers to communicate by letter, I have it a few times

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4 minutes ago, eight said:

Any other activities I've never partaken of that you and he would like me to refrain from?

 

If only everyone was like you O.o

I doubt very much that you haven't directly and indirectly added plastic to the sea, as just one issue.

Edited by Hopeful

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31 minutes ago, Sgt Hartman said:

Surprised to hear that. In what way?

I had a quiet and pleasant chat with Simon Pegg a few years ago while waiting for a pizza at a festival. All was well and good until this bloke recognised him and made an almighty prick of himself taking pictures, calling his mates over for a look and just generally just being a loud obnoxious, in-your-face arsehole.

Eventually Pegg had enough and abandoned his place in the queue to retreat behind a velvet rope somewhere. I felt quite sorry for the guy. If I had to deal with people like that day in, day out, I think I'd lose my shit.

I've no idea who Simon Pegg is, but I know what you mean about the hassle anyone well known gets. I've no idea how they put up with it. Seems to be worse these days, with mobile phones.

I've never once met, or even seen, anyone famous. Apart from when they were working on a stage or a sports field of course. 

Though to be honest, I'm pretty unobservant, so I may have walked past loads! 

If I did see someone, there's no way I'd approach them. 

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12 minutes ago, Hopeful said:

Even private parties, unless small, turn into a scrum. never once asked for his autograph, but as he prefers to communicate by letter, I have it a few times

Politics notwithstanding, personally I've always quite liked the guy as he's alsways struck me as incredibly knowlegable and personable. He's certainly better than most of the presenters that we currently have and he's absolute leagues above what's waiting in the wings.

* Stares flatly at Chris Packham *

I'll wave my tiny Dosbods flag for DA.

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11 minutes ago, Uptherebels said:

I've no idea who Simon Pegg is, but I know what you mean about the hassle anyone well known gets. I've no idea how they put up with it. Seems to be worse these days, with mobile phones.

 

Shaun of the Dead is probably what he's best known for. Recently Scotty in Star Trek.

It was cringeworthy to watch, I felt genuinely embarrassed on his behalf. I've rarely seen a grown man (clearly well-off and in his fifties or so) act like such an utter penis.

A fourteen year old Beiber fan would have dismissed him as OTT and an arse.

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2 hours ago, Sgt Hartman said:

 

Mrs H. did some work for the wife of a now deceased famous comedian.

My mum worked with Frankie Howerd (gay and nasty I believe), Benny Hill (gay but pleasant), Hancock (depressed), Clive Dunn (pleasant but fussy... and gay!), Tony Beckley (gay) in Rep plus some others.

So from that list their public personas were not too different from their private ones, except Howerd.

Edited by davidg

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