Is it the celebs or the agents behind it all?
By Pippa Thornton | Twitter @pippathornt0n. Image by Marcelo Chagas (marcelochagasfotografia)
We all view celebs as heroes; the glitz and glamour of the showbiz elite fascinates the general public- they’re seen as gods that we feel the need to worship. Yet I encountered one who taught me a -not entirely pleasant – lesson in journalism.
A couple of months ago I was assigned to write a profile piece on a heroic figure from Nottingham; ironic right? After contacting several people I had replies from people’s agents such as Georgia Groome and Richard Whitehead, who were encouraging, but didn’t commit.
I began to feel concerned that I would not complete this piece until one night when I received an email from this previous agency which said that a high profile local celeb – a household name in television – would make time for me in their busy filming schedule until the end of the year.
I couldn’t waste this opportunity.
They made it seem like they were doing a huge favour for me and my progress on the course. However, this soon changed. The interview over the phone went great and everything seemed fine until I got the opportunity for my work to be published in a magazine.
I kindly contacted and asked if this would be allowed. More of a courtesy, than anything.
Desperate, I phoned up the agents and I got a brief answer saying that this would be passed on to the person’s publicist;no one got back to me.
After sending the email for the second time I got a short reply saying “So sorry but we’re not able to have it published. Sorry to not have better news.”
They didn’t even read my piece before declining.
I learnt a hard lesson: celebrities (or more accurately their agents) can be quite precious. Also, be prepared to be disappointed: it’s easy to be spiked (the term journalists use for a piece not being published). And finally: always have a Plan B: you’re currently reading mine.