Posted by: lucylastic | April 11, 2007

Is it wrong to want 15 minutes of fame?

Following my thoughts about the Marines/Sailors, I started musing on the more general issue of the celebrity culture we live in and what it means to seek time in the public eye.

Is there anything wrong with wanting to be famous or well known if one doesn’t mind the curiosity and intrusion that goes with it?  I have been wondering about how far I would go to get my 15 minutes of fame.  I made a start last year with a teatime TV appearance on the wonderfully lightweight ‘Ready, Steady, Cook!’  Quite by chance, I stumbled across the application form to appear on the show, while on a late-night web session in the snowy wastes of Nizhny Novgorod.  The show’s appeal to ‘share my culinary heritage’ was easily fuelled by the fact that I am half Polish, I was a long, long way from home with only a bottle of vodka and a gherkin in the fridge to look forward to and still in the office at 9.30pm on a night when the temperature had reached -25 degrees Celsius.  I will admit that I am just a tiny bit prone to exaggeration and I do like a good tale – so all of a sudden I had a completed entry form in front of me and the resolution to wrap up warm and march home for some Russian Standard Vodka! 

It was obviously a slow day at the Ready, Steady, Cook! offices, because by the following morning, they had emailed back and offered me a phone interview for the show!!!!  I sailed through this – the only question that momentarily stumped me being ‘and who will you bring with you for the audition’?  I quickly plumped for my sister – she’s game for a laugh and a brilliant cook – so seemed to fit the bill pretty well.  By and by we found ourselves in the glamorous, (not), auditioning hall at Endemol Productions – with no sign whatsoever of a celebrity chef – no sign whatsoever of ANY celebrity come to that – we were stuck in front of a video camera and besieged with questions about each other, what we could cook and a few other things that had very little to do with television shows.  I assume that the whole point of this was to see whether we could actually string two words together or not and we acquitted ourselves extremely well – nothing whatsoever to do with the champagne we consumed on our way to the show, or the next bottle we consumed whilst waiting for the audition, (didn’t want to be late – and what else do you do for an hour and a half in the BBC bar)?  A few nerve wracking weeks of waiting and finally we were invited to take part and were allowed to bring 2 guests each with us.  We both brought our husbands, (mine still ‘to be’ at that stage) and I chose my mum, whilst my sister chose her best friend.  My one and only attack of nerves came just as we arrived at the studios, but they were soon quashed by a steadying glass of wine, or two!  The green room was very well equipped, (large fridge, well stocked) and our celebrity chefs, Anthony Worrall–Thompson and Brian Turner were friendly and not at all stand-offish.  The rest as they say is history – having been introduced as ‘Polish sisters’, we had a lot to live up to – but my ‘blobski’ stole the show, as well as creating a few laughs for the audience……..it was a fabulous day and I have to admit, has whetted my appetite for further appearances on TV.  In similar vein, I recently came across a much more serious show that is being developed for TV – it sounds a bit like Masterchef, but involves cooking for different restaurant critics.  I am in the process of applying and will let you know how it goes, (or if I never mention it again, then assume I didn’t even get past the first hurdle)!!!!  I keep hoping I might get spotted as the next Nigella and offered a TV deal of my own…………

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