Friday 4 December 2009 By Jon Price

Ofcom demands use of quotation marks with the word ‘Celebrity’


'celebrity' to be put in quotes Ofcom

Television regulator Ofcom has ordered that the makers of reality game shows must only use the word ‘celebrity’ if it is contained within quotation marks to indicate an ironic use of the word.

The ruling follows a number of complaints from entertainer’s lobby groups that the use of low-grade, so-called ‘celebrities’ in reality programs was devaluing the word, and indeed the very concept of ‘celebrity’.

According to Ofcom’s new ruling, the use of single quotation marks means that from now on, reality TV shows must give notice to the viewer that they will not, in all likelihood, have the faintest idea who any of the contestants are.

The move means that production companies are now frantically changing the logos and graphics of their products to reflect the new rules.

Major re-branding exercises are under way for programs such as ‘Celebrity’ Big Brother, ‘Celebrity’ Masterchef and I’m a ‘Celebrity’, Get Me Out of Here!

Ofcom has also served notice to the presenters of such programmes, who, according to the ruling, must now ‘make those annoying air quotes every time they mention the c-word.’

Many ‘celebrities’ have hit out against this directive, believing that it belittles their status as household names.

“It’s degrading! I’m a respected member of the showbiz community who has ordered a drink in both the Rovers Return and the Queen Vic, yet this ruling questions my validity as a superstar,” said someone we think might have been called Dave. Or maybe John.

However, bosses at the BBC are said to be less worried about Ofcom’s directive, believing that the massive pay cuts forecast for BBC employees in the near-future will see proper celebrities queuing up to go onto reality television shows in order to supplement their income.

“It won’t be long before you’ll be seeing the likes of Graham Norton descending into madness on Celebrity Big Brother or Bruce Forsyth chowing down on kangaroo testicles for your entertainment.’ claimed one industry insider.

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