Alex Massie

A (Rather Good) Bit of Fry...

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Stephen Fry has a blog? Ye gods, whatever next? That said, he may not have quite mastered either the brevity or the frequency elements of the gig. Still, absorbing stuff. Or something.  Certainly it ain't your average celeb-blog. What may be the world's longest post on Smartphones ever written by a Cambridge Footlight, concludes:

As the General Confession in the Book of Common Prayer has it, “I have followed too much the devices and desires of my own heart.” Amen.

Then there's a lengthy - but very warm and very wise -  rumination on fame which, well, you'll just have to read for yourself. But here's a fun story:

I’ll start with a story that illustrates exactly one aspect of that point. 15 or so years ago I was filming a TV drama called Stalag Luft in Harrogate with Nicholas Lyndhurst. After a couple of nights sampling the hotel’s room service menu we decided to totter into town and try our luck in an Indian restaurant. We were spotted by a group of young Harro … young Harrogaters? Harrovians won’t do it. Whatever, a sample of Harrogate youth button-holed us. They hailed Nicholas in a strange blend of North Yorkshire and attempted South London, punching him playfully but quite forcefully on the arm and saying ‘Come on Rodney, you fucking plonker, give us your autograph, you daft cunt.’ They roughhoused him like this as he patiently signed, and then they turned to me, all but doffing their caps, and asked in a very polite tone, ‘Excuse me, Mr Fry, but can we have your autograph too?’ Walking away from this encounter Lyndhurst said in an aggrieved tone as he rubbed his bruised upper arm: ‘What the hell was that about? I get called a cunt and violently punched and you get “excuse me Mr Fry”???’. ‘Ah,’ I said, ‘thing is, you play everyone’s favourite younger brother and so they treat you like a younger brother, while I play generals and lawyers and bishops and they treat me accordingly.’ ‘Right, that’s it,’ said Nick, ‘from now on it’s bishops and generals only.’

Also, how do you think famous people think of the rest of us?

Small sidebar. I’m afraid there are plenty of words used by slebs to describe non-slebs. Here are some I’ve heard.

Mops/moppets – silly. It stands for Members Of the Public.

Civilians – reasonable, but a bit John Goodman in The Big Lebowski.

Ordinaries – ouch.

Muggles – obvious and quite sweet I suppose.

Punters – naff.

As I say, there's lots more that merits quotation, so do pop over and have a look yourself.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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