When Nick, the editor, offered me the chance to interview one of Ibiza’s summer crop of “sparkly shiny” summer visitors last week I thought my days as an investigative ‘celebrity journalist’ had finally arrived!
No not the ‘fighty shouty’ boys and not the lady with the extremely large bottom who is ever present on the glossy pages. Someone I thought might just be reachable, which made me incline the questions to the more serious side of the spectrum, to give the subject a chance to give the public some genuine personality insights, rather than the usual superficial ‘stuff,’ that circulates. Wrong!
I’d been asked to prepare and submit a series of questions for pre-approval to be put to the person in question. I then spent the best part of a day doing this, checked them with Nick who submitted them to the ‘PR machine’ that is inevitably joined at the hip with high profile people. We were subsequently asked by the local PR representative, to submit the three which we would most like to ask. Which we did and back came the reply “Sorry you’re too late.” Which made me wonder, having used words of at least thee syllables, more than once, whether the back room support team had difficulty reading or understanding the questions, later I found out that, no that wasn’t the problem. It transpired that the very professional local PR manager, let us call her ‘Miss G,’ to save her blushes, wasn’t entirely in charge, her role was to organise “The Promotional Bash,” collect as many journalists from all over Europe to worship at the feet of the “Worthy One” and to keep we newshounds in order.
It appears that ‘Miss G’ had to then submit what she thought were appropriate questions to yet another PR person in the ‘Golden Circle’ of “The Worthy One”, who it transpired then ‘approved’ certain questions from only the biggest of organisations, re-wrote them and returned them to the selected journalists in a way that was acceptable. I know this because during the course of the long wait for the “appearance” I’d befriended a delightful presenter from a mainstream German TV channel and her cameraman, who had been chosen! I must assume that “The Worthy One” was then briefed by minders with scripted replies. I assume this because at the official ‘Press call’ one of the chosen ‘Journos’ stepped out of line, asked an unscripted question and was severely shouted at!
Having been invited to the Press Reception for cocktails and canapés at 23.00 on behalf of “The Worthy One” by Miss G, I must give her huge credit. We, that is maybe forty or so writers were right royally entertained to Moet and sushi until “The Appearance,” two hours later, by which time, being a non drinker I was well ‘buzzed up’ on Red Bull!
Taraaaa! At almost exactly one in the morning there poured out from the upper level of the VIP entrance to Amnesia, the most tantalising troupe of charming, sparkly, pink clad, uniformly bronzed young ladies wearing big hats and Hollywood smiles. The Hors d’Oeuvres were shortly to be followed by the arrival of a quite anonymous people carrier containing the “Worthy One”. Much flashing (of the photographic kind) was followed by ….. have you guessed by now? Yes Miss Paris Hilton, who in her defence, if she needs any, looked stunning at least to an old geezer like me, in a just over the knee cream coloured creation with sparkly silver bits on the shoulders and neckline!
Next came questions, not as by now you will have realised from the ‘great unwashed’ mob of assembled, assorted journalists, but from “The Chosen” wielding very large multi coloured microphones and enormous Video cameras. Then as soon as it started “Pooof” less than thirty minutes later it was all over. Paris was spirited away to get ready for her ‘set’, some two hours afterwards. It was all over and much as I would have liked to stay to see what happened next, the Red Bull was wearing off, “sayonara” Miss G, thank you for doing a great job.
And the morals of this tale are a) if you’re thinking of becoming a celebrity journalist think at least twice, be ready for long nights and disappointments, b) enjoy the cocktails and canapés and c) don’t believe a word of what you read, its all managed to the letter!