Saturday, July 9, 2011

No No It Was I Who Discovered Stephen Fry

I know a good thing when I see it

It was I, it was I who discovered Stephen Fry. It was me.

What is our relationship to celebrities?

You know how it is, you stumble across something, something no one ever told you about, and you figure out all by yourself that it's something really special. You're so proud of yourself, you're going to tell the world about your discovery, everyone will look to you for what's newest and best.

And what's more- he's yours, all yours. You can tell people about him-- but he will never be theirs, he'll always be yours-- Right?


For example I am the sole discoverer of many other such stars. A search for "BBC comedy" on a download site, brings up many wonderful acts that I discovered all by myself. Have you ever heard of The Two Ronnies? Probably not- I discovered them. Have you ever heard of Mark Steel? Probably not- I discovered him, too. Of "I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again"? No, you haven't, they're all mine. The Goon Show? No, mine. Victor Borge? Probably not. Mine, mine, mine. You may never have heard of them, yet they are all simply brilliant. Heard of Stephen Fry? Probably not. . . because he's mine. . . Oops! I guess you have. . . And where does that leave ME?

When I "discovered" Stephen Fry (by myself) I became addicted to "A Bit of Fry and Laurie." I watched dozens of youtube clips. Then I realized I had "discovered" him even earlier, as Oscar Wilde, in the role he was "born to play" as he calls it. He was so slipped into that role, I wondered if he could ever play anything else. (And indeed he's done very little acting besides.)

born to be wilde (sorry)

I hate to say though, Fry was given a run for his money, very nearly upstaged by the show-stopping performance of Welsh actor* Michael Sheen as Wilde's first lover Robbie Ross. Maybe I should have focused on discovering HIM.

So now, you see, I had discovered Stephen Fry TWICE. This double-clinches it.

It's more than "discovering" someone, it's about "owning" them too. When we've "grown up with" a celebrity, they become like an acquaintance or even family member. We've watched them age, and their old photos acquire a kind of luminous beauty. Not just because the technology is quaint; it's psychological too. The best example I can think of who had a glow is -don't laugh- Prince Charles, who used to cut quite a dashing figure, you've seen the clips. Set aside your prejudices, do you see the glow?

see the glow? 
the prince when he was bonny

It's not just true for old photos of celebrities- it's true for the old photos of our own parents. Fry & Laurie in those videos were in their early 30s- which happens to be the age we best remember our parents. Fry especially, glows with the luminous beauty of an old black-and-white family photo. . . Looking at his old photos, how many other people must feel that he is part of their family!

Fry's elegant chivalry, his gentle, blushing innocence, the hooded eyes. . I am not the first female to fall madly in crush with Stephen Fry. Whether you know he's gay or not. And in fact you do know he's gay, it's dripping off his fingertips and he's always telling us, sometimes in great detail (I read that book); and doesn't it somehow add to his charm? Besides, you never have to share him- with a woman.

ladies love him too. . 

I was miffed to read that Stephen Fry was one of the most popular people on twitter, with two and three-quarter million followers. (If you check my twitter follows down, you'll see he is the first person I followed.) I thought Fry was all mine. I did not know exactly why he was so famous, but I knew it was for a lot, because even Prince Charles repeated that Fry is a "national treasure" (and Fry's called Prince Charles a great many nice things as well). Realizing how famous Fry is, was a surprise and puzzlement, since for me, it's such a personal kind of attachment.

It's a whole psychology, the relationship one has with a celebrity, or even a long-deceased character in history, it's the same. A phenomenon I address again and again in my blog. It's a type of "relationship"- except- without the other person.

In this sense, Stephen Fry is only mine. Does everybody feel that way? In any case, Stephen Fry is famous, Eve. He's already famous. I didn't discover him. Well yes I did. I did. I insist that I did.

*aren't they always (always Welsh I mean)?

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