The Concept of Celebrity

04 Sep 15

The word 'celebrity' is a bit strange and in many cases it can be used in quite a derogatory way.  Most of the time I think about it being used for someone who is in a reality show and becomes famous, infamous or notorious.


I was recently asked whether I wanted to appear on 'Celebrity fifteen to one' and it was a weird because I don't think of myself as a celebrity.  I was pretty keen at the start, but became more nervous the closer that I got to filming.  The chance to win money for charity was too good to turn down.  I have been on other quiz shows like a Question of Sport several times, and didn't disgrace myself.  


A few years ago I was asked to do a sportspersons version of the Weakest Link, where I lost out to Matthew Pinsent in the final.  The question that lost me the money was 'name a Warwickshire town that is also a sport'.  I grew up in Wales and Rugby is our national sport, but could I think of that answer.  No I could not.  There was no sport at all in my head.  I then got asked to do Mastermind, and was told not to take it too seriously.  My specialist question was Star Wars (the first three).  I then found I was on with Giles Brandreth (Oxford educated), the then poet laureate, Andrew Motion, and Stephen Fry.  Not a lot you can say about them. I came second and realistically I was never going to beat Stephen Fry in a million years.


So then came the chance to do Fifteen to One.  I used to watch it when it was on TV about a million years ago, but there is nothing quite like being on the set and having to answer the questions in real time.  Everyone was pretty nervous, because you don't want to look like an idiot, and that brings a certain tension to it. I was raising money for a charity called Sportsaid, which supports young athletes, and they helped me when I started.


I got in to the final against Caroline Quentin and Rhod Gilbert who had both been really good all the way through, and then it was luck and then passing the questions back and fore until I was the only one left.  I am glad that I did it?  Even though I got some really stupid questions wrong, and people will remind me of it for months and years to come (like they did on the Weakest Link), I think it was a lot of fun and it was my chance to give something back to people who had helped me.