My mate Adam Eason posted a great blog yesterday about Celebrities.  I am witnessing with increasing amusement the domesticisation (ok there may not be such a word – YET) of a man about town.  I was still not prepared for the shock of Adam revealing his latest pinup Delia Smith.  OK I exaggerate and you can read the truth at his blog.

There was another side to the posting that was very interesting about stars of TV and screen spouting off about health issues, not necessarily with accurate information, to a gullible public who hang on their every word.  I agree on the specific cases that Adam used but I think there is another side to be considered. 

I had only just finished reading Adam’s blog when I picked up our local paper.  There was a long article about Prostate Cancer Awareness Week promoted by a charity trying to get their message to their target group of young men. 

Dominating the page were two photos – one of Boyzone’s Stephen Gately, group member, and Kyran Bracken, an England Rugby World Cup 2003 winner who are putting their weight behind the campaign.  I suspect that it was the charity that approached the celebrities for their support and not the other way round.

Another point I would like to add.  It depends how much the celebrity does know about the health issue having personally been through the trauma of the problem themself. 

I would give a lot of credence, and listen intently to Kylie Minogue for example talking about her breast cancer. I think it is quite remarkable and an inspiration the positive attitude that she brought to her fight against the disease. 

I also heard Frank Bruno talking recently on the radio about the time he was sectioned for mental health problems.  He is now through the other side and can now talk in a uniquely inspiring way about mental illness and how it affects people around the person involved.  His message is truly one of hope to people with disturbed minds and may well convince some to seek help.

In my days of nursing when we were preparing patients for traumatic surgery we would often use facts about celebrities as a way of reassuring patients that life wasn’t about to end because of the surgery they faced.  In those days Petula Clark was a great example for anyone facing a post operative colostomy.

I think there is a major part for celebrities to play in health promotion as long as they stick to knowledge gleaned from personal experience.  I quite agree with Adam though where stars of screen should not be allowed to talk gibberish and act irresponsibly by endorsing some health fad that doesn’t stand up to scientific scrutiny.

Well back to Delia – she does have a new series on TV here in the UK and I suppose I will give her another watch given Adam’s comments. 

In my eyes Delia blotted her copy book in a very funny footballing incident at her beloved Norwich Football Club.  Norwich were in dire trouble and facing relegation and during a crucial match Delia went onto the pitch at half time with a microphone urging the crowd to get behind the team.  Sounding suspiciously as if she had had a glass or two – she was shouting “Let’s be having you – Let’s be hearing you…”  It was so funny sounding that it was played back many times during the following week on different news stories.  I even heard it used as a ringtone.

I’m afraid I haven’t been able to take her seriously since.  Slightly unfair – so I will give her new series a look.