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FAME - YOUR FIFTEEN MINUTES ARE UP

by Kate Simpkins - who was once famous for two seconds




Andy Warhol started it off,' In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes'. He didn't actually say we should be famous for at least fifteen minutes. But today many of us, and especially the under 25s seem to think that seeking fame is our most important mission in life. I wish Warhol were still alive today so he could add a desperate tag line to his quote:' In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes – so please chill out a bit'
.
There are plenty of examples of people rushing to get their fair shares worth of fame. Of course there were all the Docusoaps. Together they must have dished out fame experiences to thousands of people. But it's not just the consenting driving instructors and airport staff. It was the people trying to dodge Maureen's horrendous driving, and the holiday makers running away from Jeremy Spake1s excess luggage fines. No one has to search too hard for his or her chance. Somewhere nearby there will be a Docusoap crisis ready to walk into, or an 'uncovered1 holiday destination' to fly away to, or a vox pop waiting for your opinion. It all goes to show that no one needs to be desperate.

Someone should have told this to the 20,000 young adults who, on a rainy grey day in London recently, queued for hours for the chance to audition for a part in the teen soap, Hollyoaks. Some had queued from 4pm the day before for their 20 second1s in front of casting directors. But there was a chance for fame without even having to bother with the audition. A camera was deployed to film the waiting queue, ready to be shown on the Hollyoaks 'Casting Special' television programme. It was a chance for hundreds of people to smile at the camera, rejoice in the fame experience and get on with their lives. But then the camera stopped and people rushed forward to name and shame themselves, 'I'm Sarah ,I'm too hot to handle', 'I'm Matt. Watch this space, I'll be a star'. But the most excruciating and bizarre declarations were made in the 20 second auditions). A girl dressed as a fairy walks to the casting table with her business card. 'I'm Twinkle, please take my wish ticke'.. Another girl walks to the table, collapses on one knee and wails, 'Please, I'm begging you, please, please, please'. But most people came out with pretty standard fame seeker phrases. 'I'm in a film at the moment', 'Acting1s all I've ever wanted to do', 'I'm unique, I'm different'.

All this is just the tip of the fame seekers heap. What are people doing sat in the audience of 'The National Lottery show'? Why did 40,000 people apply to be on Big Brother? The idea of anyone and everyone experiencing fame has gone too far. People are actively seeking out their fifteen minutes, and Andy Warhol is not here to tell them it's not necessary. Maybe the only way left to calm things down is to rewrite history. You see Andy Warhol didn't actually say 'In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes', what he actually said was, 'In the future no-one will be famous for having been famous for fifteen minutes.'

© Kate Simpkins
2 seconds dancing on Blue Peter - 1990
Photo on page two of The Southern Advertiser – 1984
5-minute interview on Radio Solent Saturday morning club - 1983

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