The fame game

دوره: انگلیسی شش دقیقه ای / اپیزود 239

انگلیسی شش دقیقه ای

240 اپیزود

The fame game

توضیح مختصر

Is the way we see famous people a new thing? Learn about the first 'modern celebrity'.

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Note: This is not a word for word transcript

Neil Hello I’m Neil. Welcome to 6 Minute English. And with me here in the studio ladies and gentlemen is … Finn!

Finn Thank you! Thank you sound effects! Thank you, Neil! Is this all for me? I feel like quite a celebrity!

Neil Yes, a celebrity – someone famous - particularly someone in show business , that’s the world of entertainment, theatre and film. Today we’re talking about fame, and teaching you some related vocabulary.

Finn Yes. Some celebrities are famous for their talent , which means by their ability to do something well, like singing, acting or telling jokes …

Neil And others are famous for… well, for being famous or being associated with someone who is. The names Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian come to mind: wealthy women with their own TV shows. But, talking about celebrity, let me ask you a question.

Finn Actually Neil, only if you play that lovely applause again. Go on Neil!

Neil I knew you would love this. Right. Here it goes.

Finn Yes! Anyway, Neil… I can give you my autograph later…

Neil You mean signature? An autograph is the signature of a famous person, Finn. Fans collect these and things like photographs.

Finn Yes, we call things like those memorabilia.

Neil For example, Michael Jackson’s leather glove with shiny crystals - it became very famous in the 1980s when he presented his moonwalk to the world. How much was it sold for at auction in 2009? Was it:

a) US$ 150,000

b) US$ 250,000 or

c) US$ 350,000

Finn I think Michael Jackson has some big fans in the world so I’ll say c) US$ 350,000.

Neil Okay. I’ll give you the answer at the end of the programme.

Finn So the idea of celebrity seems very modern in some ways – does it have a long history?

Neil Well, Lord Byron, a very famous English poet born in 1788, is considered by some experts to be the world’s first modern-style celebrity. Let’s hear Dr Corin Throsby, English Literature researcher at Cambridge University.

Finn Why was Byron a celebrity?

Neil Listen out for the noun she uses in the first sentence meaning a product, or something for sale.

INSERT Dr Corin Throsby, Cambridge University If we think of celebrity as the moment where someone’s personality becomes a commodity. So, for Byron the fact that he was popular on this scale that had never been achieved before because his career had coincided with mass printing. But something more than that, that there was a sort of a secondary industry of Byron stuff, you know, that there were Byron neck ties, people wanted to look like Byron. There was this mass of people that loved him. He could no longer control his image. I think that’s what separates celebrity from the fame that had preceded that.

Finn So the noun was ‘a commodity’. She said that when someone’s personality becomes a product, that’s when they turn into a celebrity.

Neil She talked of fame so big you can’t control your own image – that’s your reputation, the way other people think about you and imagine you. Someone interesting in this respect is Justin Bieber.

Finn Yeah. Are you a fan, Neil?

Neil I’m a massive fan of Justin Bieber. I love him.

Finn I believe you.

Neil He’s a big name and he’s always in the newspapers. His fans are called ‘Beliebers’…

Finn and Byron’s fans were called ‘Byron maniacs’. That’s the name his wife gave his adoring fans. Though she wasn’t too happy about them.

Neil Yes. Byron’s life was full of scandals , actions which cause shock and disapproval among people.

Finn And for Byron it was mainly his love life. He had affairs with men and women.

Neil For Justin Bieber it’s about his behaviour. He was accused of driving after drinking alcohol, and of vandalism.

Finn Vandalism means causing damage to property.

Neil Poor Justin Bieber!

Finn Though he’s very popular - his career started when he was in his early teens and I think it must have been difficult growing up with this global fame. Still, I wonder how much his autograph is worth in the current market…

Neil Well,I don’t know about Justin Bieber’s autograph but I do know about Michael Jackson’s shiny glove. It became iconic in the 1980s, but how much was it sold for? Was it US$ 150,000; US$ 250,000 or c) US$ 350,000?

Finn I said c) US$ 350,000.

Neil And you were right.

Finn Wow! That’s rare.

Neil Did you buy it?

Finn It wasn’t me. No.

Neil Well, our time’s up but let’s remember the words we heard from today. Finn.

Finn We heard:


show business








Neil That’s it for today. Please join us again soon for 6 Minute English from BBC Learning English.

Finn Neil?

Neil What?

Finn You know what. Go on.

Neil Okay. One more time.

Finn You love it as well, don’t you?

Neil I do. It’s great. I’ll join in.

Finn Bye.

From the archives

All 6 Minute English programmes pre-September 2014 can be found here.

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