The Mail Obsession with Christine Bleakley

Yesterday The Daily Mail Reporter scribbled a hatchet job on Christine Bleakley: ‘Ten shameless steps to stardom – the Christine ‘Look At Me’ Bleakley way‘. The author argued that Bleakley would take on any job – ‘no matter how low rent’ – in order to claw her way towards fame, whilst at the same time ‘trading up’ partners to achieve or consolidate increasing fame. It also tries to imply that a previous tabloid scandal – the baseless allegations that she was having an affair with Adrian Chiles – did her no harm, as scandals are all about raising your profile. It then continues with a series of petty allegations about how Bleakley conducts herself, all of which rely solely on intense paparazzi footage, which shitty and pointless tabloids like the Mail then like to over-analyse and dress it up as somehow being news.

The final point sneers:

How unfortunate that photographers should be on hand every single day of her holiday with Lampard.

But is there a clue in an interview she gave to Glamour magazine in 2009, in which she complained about being snapped looking less than-perfect while on holiday?

‘I have made the acquaintance of Darryn Lyons over the last year, the now famous Aussie paparazzi bloke,’ she said. ‘He was extolling the virtues of the set-up pap shot…

‘He gets the shot and the person in it looks like they want to look. How pathetic, I thought at the time. . . but never say never.

‘Put it this way: if you see me looking anything like flawless on a beach it will have been set up, a long time in the planning. . . and the subject of diligent airbrushing supervised by my good self.’

The thing is, Daily Mail Reporter, the paparazzi only exist because a market for this inane drivel exists. The Daily Mail website returns 278 results for Christine Bleakley and – no offence to people who perform her role – she is merely a person who looks pretty and reads an autocue whilst looking as inoffensive as possible. That is it. She isn’t determining government policy, she isn’t a philosopher offering us a chance of self-reflection in an ever more consumerist, noxious world. She is a TV presenter who has a boyfriend. The recent holiday with Frank Lampard has led to daily coverage in the Mail, we had an article complete with 9 photos just to cover when Lampard returned from the World Cup and they were reunited for Christ’s sake (another giant turd dropped from the fruit of Richard Littlejohn’s loins – Georgina Littlejohn). Followed by:

Christine Bleakley unveils her svelte bikini body as she cools off poolside with Frank Lampard
Christine Bleakley and Frank Lampard share first public kiss as they holiday together for first time in Sardinia
More wine, darling? Christine Bleakley and Frank Lampard lap up the sun with drink in hand
Christine Bleakley and Frank Lampard take their summer lovin’ for cruise around the bay
Life’s still a beach for Christine and Frank as their holiday idyll continues

As well as a typically bitchy mention from Amanda Platell who refers to Bleakley as ‘the gormless One Show host’ who:

traipses half way around the world to be with her man, then appears in a succession of glamorous ‘paparazzi’ holiday shots that cynics might suggest look almost posed.

In the self- promotion stakes, she makes Cheryl Cole look like an ingénue. She may be defecting to GMTV, but when it comes to Ms Bleakley, it never stops being The One show.

Self-promotion? Even if she posed bollock-naked for the paparazzi no ‘self-promotion’ could occur without tabloid rags like yours Amanda being willing to shell out money for the pictures. If you have an issue with a ‘gormless’ celeb getting loads of attention, why not whinge to your editor who seems happy to pay photographers a great deal for shots posed or otherwise?

Just taking in a quick scan of the Daily Mail website shows that they’re writing at least two pointless articles a day about Christine Bleakley, someone of no importance to a single person’s life outside her family and friends. What have we become as a society when there is a market for celebrity drivel like this? If men want to see attractive women, log onto any of the billion porn sites on the Internet, see the proper thing, not grainy long lens photos of people trying to be left alone.

What annoys me more than anything is the little dig at Bleakley wearing different bikinis (they do this with all female ‘celebrities’). As far as I understand most women wear different bikinis on holiday. Yet the Daily Mail suggests that ‘Marks and Spencer must be wondering if Christine Bleakley is dropping hints to be the new face of their swimwear collection after she debuted yet another bikini’. Yet, whenever a celebrity wears the same dress or bikini more than once – even if it is years apart – the Mail reports this as news. It acts as if it wearing the same article of clothing more than once is a huge celebrity faux pax. So, as usual with the tabloid press: whatever you do they’ll criticise you.

This whole Christine Bleakley thing is self-perpetuating bullshit. The Daily Mail and their celebrity gossip team print page after page of inane guff complete with numerous pictures of Christine Bleakley, great, lots of hits on the website, editor happy. Then follows up with the typical bitchy articles bemoaning self-obsessed celebrity culture, great, lots of hits on the website, editor happy. In so many ways the celebrity waffle in the Mail should annoy me least of all, because it is essentially meaningless and harmless. Yet it does piss me off because it is wasting a huge cultural space and filling a passive audience with all the wrong messages. It invites people to sit back and bitch and moan about the world – or at least a very elitist, selective part of it – but they bitch and moan for all the wrong reasons. They don’t want to consider the system that creates obscenely wealthy – but extremely talentless – people, they’d rather take issue with what they are wearing or how their behaviour can be interpreted through a grainy tele-lens photo.

And that, after all this rambling, I think, is what really pisses me off.


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3 Comments

  • joeminustalent says:

    it’s also interesting to note how every headline noted there features frank lampard’s name, just in case we forgot it was who she’s married to and to catch any searches for her english footballing counterpart legend/bastard (depends on the week).

  • Tim Footman says:

    The Bleakley articles were trumped in the banality stakes by a piece about the fact that Rachel Stevens (late of S Club 7) was wearing a purple dress, which was interpreted to mean that she didn’t want anyone to know what sex her forthcoming baby is going to be.

  • Tim Holmes says:

    Coincidentally enough I was checking back on a blog post I wrote in 2007 and came across this: “And when I jokingly said that the Mail is a boiling bucket of hypocritical pus, I actually meant to say that it is like unto a whited sepulcre.” Just as applicable today! And every day!!

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