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The death of do-nothing celebrity

Everyone knows you can be famous just for being famous. But, with a new kind of reality show on the rise, is celebrity-land witnessing a flight towards authority?

By Sam Leith   June 2009

Gordon Ramsay in action: a scourge of the talentless

“I like blinking, I do.” Uttered by a contestant on the second series of Big Brother, those five words are probably the most indicative quote reality television ever threw up. You could be famous, they seemed to say, for blinking. Not even for actually blinking. Just for liking blinking. Some people even got “I like blinking” T-shirts printed.

In Celebrity, her astringent and timely recent book, Guardian columnist Marina Hyde warns us that the blinkers are on the rise. What she calls the “celebriscape” is, she says, “expanding at…

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