The other night Sir Bruce Forsyth was a guest on the BBC’s One Show. He has been best known most recently as host of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. The U.S. version is Dancing With The Stars.
Within moments, it became clear why he was on the program. He has a book out about his life and career:
His life has been “lived” largely before an audience. He was a performer who grew into a celebrity. In comparison, I suspect most authors instinctively feel uncomfortable with celebrity.
Most being the most important word there. There are always exceptions. Some clearly do revel in being the center of attention:
Writing for publication is a business. Of course authors have personalities and even looks. Having “the right ones” can certainly help market the product: their books.
But, for me – and I sense most authors – it’s about the characters, not myself. They’re the true “celebrities.” It’s really they who should be interviewed….
….and, what luck, right there, right now. Can you believe it? Two of mine, “Isabelle” and “Mark,” are on the sofa about to be interviewed by some British TV host (the British often call them “presenters”) Americans have never heard of. Let’s watch and see if they embarrass me….
[Spontaneous Wild in-studio Applause!!!!!]
Mr. Presenter: Thank you very much for being here in Salford with me.
[Applause slowly ebbing.]
Isabelle: Thank you for the welcome. But why here? Why not in London? Who knows of this place?
Presenter: We’ve moved lots of operations here. It helps us better reflect the U.K.
Isabelle: Isn’t London the center of the country? Like Paris? But, okay, whatever you want. So you wish to talk to us about what?
Mark: I’m from Long Island. East Setauket. How did I get here? Why do you care what I think?
Presenter: You’re both vital to the novels.
Isabelle: Yes, I am written about. We are. But I don’t know I accept I am, as you say, ‘vital.’ Maybe I am, but it is really up to Robert. Maybe sometime I won’t be?
Presenter: Well, you’re both really interesting characters.
Mark: Come to think of it, I did bust another guy for drunk driving the other day on 25A.
Isabelle: You forget, Mark, it wasn’t the other day. It was maybe 1997?
Presenter: We also say ‘drink driving’ here in Britain.
Mark: Really? Yeh, whatever.
Isabelle: Mark, this is the British you are seeing now. Soooooo sure their English is the only. I think, Mr. Presenter, we should speak French?
Presenter: So what happens next? Will there be a fourth novel about you all?
Isabelle: Ouf, I don’t know. I’m words on a page. I suppose if Robert can write more there will be more. He loves writing about us all. At the end of the new book, now he’s got me doing….
Mark: Sssssh, don’t give it away. The ending….
Isabelle: Oh, oh, that’s right! I almost made a huge slip! Robert would have been so angry with me to have told you before it is published….
Presenter: Sure you can’t give us at least a hint? No one will tell him. Heh, heh, I promise….
Isabelle: You really imagine that he won’t find out? Don’t be ridiculous….
Presenter: He’s just a writer.
Mark: Take it easy there, pal. I owe him. He’s got me doing stuff I never imagined I ever would. He’s the one who has really made my life a helluva lot more interesting.
Isabelle: You know, I’m thinking you should have Béatrice here. She would talk about politics – and Ronald Reagan the most, even that she doesn’t like him. Valérie should be here too. She would be very attractive on your television program for you. Eh, that’s what you really want, no?
Presenter: We’ll get to them eventually, I’m sure.
Isabelle: But I don’t think Béatrice will be so easy to get. She is not one to want to waste time in a silly program such as this one. But as you wish to think.
Mark: Isabelle, I think they really need Uncle Bill on here. He’d be good. He’d keep British viewers watching. Geez, can he tell stories….
Isabelle: Ah, yes, James’s uncle. The great crime novelist. He so loves to talk about himself. And what he has done, and where he has been, and….
Mark: He sure does.
Presenter: What we’ve seen so far of him, he’s quite an uncle to have.
Isabelle: But you only know what you read. Oh, what we hear that you don’t read. Oh, he can talk for soooooo long of Spanish women editors and Italian women, Irish women, and, uh, of French women translators and news readers. He was once on a French television show, you know, about one of his books, and said to me that I was prettier than the woman who interviewed him. I laughed to him and said he was being silly….
Umm, we’ll leave them there for now. They didn’t embarrass me after all. Well, at least not yet. 😉
Have a good Wednesday, wherever you are are. 🙂