How can we trust anyone anymore? Beloved figures of other people’s childhood (I feel blessed not to have been afflicted by Rolf Harris of those of his ilk during my formative years) are dropping like flies in general esteem. Even when someone as dear as Cilla kicks the bucket, how can we be sure that she is truly deserving of our affection?
Don’t get me wrong, the very last thing I want to do is cast aspersions over a corpse (it’s not the best idea for my own image). I’m sure Cilla was all kinds of lovely (another one I missed due to not paying a huge amount of attention to. Sorry, Blind Date was only a thing until I was 11). She was a beautiful little button of sunshine and delightfulness.
But how can we ever know for sure? Unless we carry out random spot checks on all our national treasure we’ll never be certain as to whether or not they’re completely trustworthy. Poring over their phone records and poking around in their rubbish is a necessary measure to prove that they’re clean. Stop looking at me like that. It’s important for us to know that the people we heap our love and hope for the future aren’t complete monsters. Would you really be so charmed by Stephen Fry if you found out that he’s a key link in the chain shipping high powered rifles over to trouble spots around the globe? What about discovering what Helen Mirren does during the weekends (she’s established herself as the terrifying dictator of a small but key African nation. Allegedly)?
Celebrities are honour bound to conform to better standards of behaviour than we are. This is why they should have even more stringent background checks for when they apply to the status of national treasure than people working with explosives or children. It’s basically the law now and that’s why we’re so very disappointed when they act out.