It was J-Lo that started me pondering the nature of celebrity.
Jennifer Lopez may have wowed her fans with her performance on the coast last month, but the singer certainly didn’t impress the Press. The star was playing her only gig in Spain this year, and journalists and photographers flocked to the concert from all over the country with their approved credentials. But 15 minutes before she was due to take to the stage, J-Lo decided that she didn’t want any Press present and had the security team thrown them all out. Seems that Diva tag is well earned then.
At one point the difficult Ms Lopez was engaged to actor Ben Affleck. After the couple split his mother famously described her potential daughter in law – who was once rumoured to have insured various body parts up to $1million – as being “All Ass and No Class”.
During my “eclectic” career thus far on the coast and further afield, which has included everything from concert production to public relations and, of course, radio, magazine and newspaper journalism, I’ve had the mixed pleasure of dealing with various levels of fame and fortune.
As a callow youth spending his teen years in Marbella in the 80s, I tended to bump into the Holly Trinity of BBC Light Entertainment – the late Bruce Forsyth and Ronnie Corbett (who once stormed into the nightclub where my friend was chatting up the comedian’s curfew breaking daughter, and escorted her off with some choice words for us ruffians) and the, still very much with us Jimmy Tarbuck – whose son Tarby Jr became a good friend.
Over recent years, however, the nature of celebrity has changed. Whereas Tarby et al became famous after years of performing, all the modern celebrity has to do is appear in a Reality TV show to ensure his or her 15 minutes of fame. Which sometimes results in “Diva-ish” behaviour. I still shudder at the memory of two women who were clinging onto the arms of a pair of TOWIE lads drunkenly screaming “Naaaaaaah f****king pictures” at me, as if they were with Brad Pitt and George Clooney. The fact that the Essex lads involved were eating and drinking (lots) at the restaurant for free in exchange for being photographed seemed to have slipped their collective brain cell. One quick look at the large bill that was subsequently presented to them soon sobered everyone up, and they were duly papped.
As a rule of thumb, the bigger the celeb, the less trouble they are. Thus a teenage Premiership footballer can keep you waiting for hours for a few words, while a genuine rock n roll legend like drummer Kenny Jones, or Hollywood star such as Eva Longoria, is always professional.
Ahhh, Eva. The “Desperate Housewives” actor turned up on time, was funny during our interview for 15 minutes, posed for the obligatory photo and then retweeted me when I mentioned how professional she was.
To paraphrase Ben Affleck’s mum, Eva was all class, and I couldn’t possibly comment on any other part of her anatomy!
Photo: Johnny Gates