I’m told that Biggins has won a TV show called I’m a Celebrity… Get me out of here! This has evidently passed me by, but appears to matter to many others in Britain.
What if we raised the bar and defined celebrity in global terms: who would appear in a list of the most iconic and recognisable living people around the world?
This exercise would filter out much of the media’s influence because this tends to be local rather than global (though Hollywood and the music industry would have prominent representatives, as would some global sports like soccer and motor racing). But I suspect the biggest reversal from the usual celebrity rankings would be the inclusion of political and religious leaders. Rank and titles would reappear as a sign of renown; age would gain over youth; men over women.
I’ve not done the research (has anyone?), but would expect the following to appear prominently on a global celebrity ranking (some titles matter more than the title holders):
- The President of the United States
- Nelson Mandela
- The Pope
- The Dalai Lama
- Osama bin Laden
- Muhammad Ali
- The Queen of England
- The Archbishop of Canterbury
- UN Secretary General
- Madonna, Michael Jackson or Mick Jagger
- Bill Gates or Richard Branson