Sunday 8 June

When did everyday people became so fascinating that we let them overrun the TV schedules? Over 50 years, TV has eroded the distinction between celebrities and ordinary people, first by revealing the commonplace lives behind the masks of the famous, and then by turning ordinary people into extraordinary stars. From documentaries like The Family to reality shows like Airport and now with Big Brother , TV says anybody can be famous if they want it badly enough. But has television brought a welcome democratisation of fame or just flooded the small screen with irritating wannabes?

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