2014 Was a Desperate Year for UK Celebrities
Being "famous" now apparently means humiliating yourself over and over like you're a perpetual game show contestant.
This post originally appeared on VICE UK
It's hard work being a celebrity in 2014. You're slumped in the new flat you can barely afford in Surrey, where the neighbors hate you because of that one time you managed to get on Through the Keyhole with Keith Lemon. You're scrolling through MailOnline and worrying you haven't been in the Sidebar of Shame for almost four days. And then your agent calls, and they are mad. "Any relationship dramas?" they're saying. "Is your boyfriend cheating on you? Are you cheating on him? Fucking come on—give me something. At least start a Twitter row with someone off of Geordie Shore. Snort meow-meow off someone's face. Please."
While fame can happen in an instant, staying famous is harder. It's not as easy as flashing your Ann Summers thong outside the launch of a new nightclub or having a "friend" tell the papers you've "got close to" a minor character on TOWIE. You have to hustle, and hustle hard—humiliate yourself to the very lowest level. You have to do things so embarrassing that you no longer feel that emotion, and instead just go numb all over until you see every single mortification heaped upon you as an overpriced cocktail at Mahiki, or a designer handbag, or a line of ket. You need to find a way of getting attention and keeping it on you. And most of all, it needs to look effortless. See, your shitty job sounds amazing now, right?
Millie Mackintosh Sat In a Skip and Drank a Can of Pre-Mix Pimm's
Kerry Katona getting engaged in front of a wall of paparazzi ? That's fair enough—she's got five kids to feed and a husband whose only job seems to be posting misspelt tweets about her on Twitter. But Millie Mackintosh? The actual heir to the Quality Street empire (sold to Nestle in 1988 for more than $4 million)? Who is married to Professor Green? Granted, he's not exactly shifting loads of albums, but he's still endorsing any shit energy drink that crosses his path and going to every possible games launch in the country. Surely he could have lent Millie the $750 she would have got for this humiliating promotion: flogging cans of pre-mix Pimm's while sitting in a skip. That's 4 AM post-festival "I'm having a meltdown" behavior, not something girls whose daddies could pay to have you killed should be doing.
Pregnant Katie Price Dressed Up as All Your Worst Comedown Nightmares
Here's the thing about Katie Price: She's funny. Right? This has to be a joke. If you'd caught your husband cheating on you with your best friend, you'd have every right to drink 45 pre-mix cans of Pimm's and climb into a skip. But not our Katie: She put on this rubbish bag of tat, smeared concealer on her lips, stole a pair of heels from one of those shops down the sticky street in Soho, and dragged her pregnant bump out for a press call in front of the UK's media. Well, some of them.
We're not saying the Financial Times was there, but there were a lot of journalists. And instead of fulfilling her promotional obligations and telling them about some hair dye or whatever she was paid to flog, she screamed about her best friend being "a whore" and told everyone, "I bet you can't wait for my next book," all while her tits looked so painful it was like they were about to explode. That, right there, is commitment to staying famous.
Gemma Collins Bruised Her Boobs On Splash
The gutting thing about The Only Way Is Essex cast is just living with the fact that they make a lot of money off-screen. Like, more than your year's rent, in a week, by just going to a nightclub, getting on the mic, shouting "Oi oi!" at a room full of shitfaced students and going home again. Gemma Collins isn't stupid: She sells flammable pencil dresses for $90 a throw in her boutique in Essex to girls who work in accounts and think the tacky polyester can shield them from men on a "Pull a Porker" night, and they fucking love it.
So she doesn't need any more cash. She just needs fame. She needs us to tell her, "You go on Gemma, gel, you do you!" Which is exactly how she ended up shimmying along the poolside on ITV's diving reality show Splash!, like a skip full of jelly, crying and trying to look sexy all at the same time. Short story: She dived badly, smacked her massive tits on the water, and they bruised, right there on telly. Long story: Vernon Kay couldn't have looked more traumatized and she got voted off straight away.
Everything Stevi Ritchie Did On The X Factor
The saddest thing about X Factor 's fall guy, Stevi Ritchie, is that he seemed to genuinely believe he had the talent and charisma to win the show. Every week, he'd willingly have honey poured over him while dressed as Cleopatra, or sing a Ricky Martin song just a tiny bit behind the beat, or rip his shirt off and get pawed by dancers who the papers claimed "fancied him," and we'd all laugh.
But he was clearly thinking: If I just do one more embarrassing thing, Simon Cowell will let me sing a ballad, everyone will realize my talent and I'll be a star! At one point, they actually tarred and feathered him as part of an Egyptian-themed performance. He was not allowed to do a ballad while this was happening.
Kanye Admitted to Spending Four Days Editing an Instagram Post
This is what 2014 has done to us: In 2014, I went to a wedding, sat opposite a bride, and watched her pull out her iPhone and say, "Let's look at my wedding on Instagram!" She said those words. With her mouth. While literally at her own wedding.
It's the modern world, so it's best to let these things go now and again. But in May this year, Kanye West admitted with pride that he spent four days—FOUR DAYS—editing a photo of him and Kim Kardashian kissing in front of a wall of flowers at their wedding. "We sat there and worked on that photo for, like, four days because the flowers were off-colpr," he told the Cannes Lions Creativity Conference. "This was pissing my girl off during the honeymoon—she was exhausted because we worked on the photo so much."
She was exhausted by PHOTO EDITING. ON YOUR HONEYMOON. You spent FOUR DAYS STARING AT YOUR LAPTOP when you could have been repeatedly having sex with KIM ACTUAL KARDASHIAN. I'm increasingly starting to worry that fame might have broken Kanye West.
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