Would you say agree to selfies if you were famous? | BBC Radio Solent's Lou Hannan

Have you seen that selfies are in the news again?

Monday, 18th November 2019, 4:59 pm
Dame Emma Thompson has true star quality. Pic: PA Photo/Entertainment One/Emily Aragones.

Up until several years ago, we’d never even heard of the word but now not only has it made it into the Oxford English Dictionary, but it’s making headlines.

It all revolved around the actress Dame Emma Thompson who was at a restaurant having dinner with friends when the waiter who was serving her table asked for a selfie.

Dame Emma politely refused saying that she didn’t want to disturb the atmosphere for her fellow diners but was horrified to discover the next day that the waiter had been suspended.

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She apparently called the manager of the restaurant and said she didn’t want that course of action and asked for him to re-instated.

The story made it into every newspaper and was also discussed on BBC Radio Solent, begging the question, what is the etiquette when it comes to asking for selfies?

I’m usually of the mind that with great fame and wealth comes the price of lack of privacy.

I get really annoyed by a lot of celebrities who moan about being asked for autographs while at the same time courting the paparazzi when it suits them to get into the tabloids.

That’s my normal take on the subject, but in this case, I’m on the side of Dame Emma. Okay, a quick selfie wouldn’t have hurt, but she was thinking of the people around her and didn’t want them to be disturbed.

It was interesting hearing the responses of listeners and just how divided they were. Many were vociferous in the opinion that if you’re famous, you’re fair game.

On the other side, lots of people said everyone should have as much privacy as they want. Celebrity culture intrigues me greatly and it begs the question, what does it take to be one these days?

Dame Emma is  a true celeb. But when I flick through a glossy magazine at  the hair salon, I can honestly say I’ve never heard of half of the people I see photographed in exotic locations, endorsing expensive brands. It used to be celebrity status was quite rare but now, a quick appearance on a reality TV show, and you’re a household name. My Love Island days are definitely over, though.