Television Personalities: Stardom and the small screen

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Celebrities have come to increasingly dominate the media and its study in contemporary culture. Although acknowledged as part of this general rise in the importance of celebrity culture, television's specific forms of stardom have until now remained largely under-theorised. Television Personalities: Stardom and the Small Screen examines how television personalities function as commodities, and also function ideologically, thus relating them to issues of class, national identity, sexuality, gender and social history.

Television Personalities sets out a new way of considering televisual fame, arguing that it must be understood on its own terms, and establishing the television personality as a particular set of performers whose celebrity is constructed through discourses of ordinariness, authenticity and intimacy. It demonstrates how televisual fame is the product of skilled performances that function at the very heart of why we enjoy television, and the cultural and ideological role television plays in society.

The book is divided into three sections that trace the historical development of televisual fame from the 1950s through to the emergence of 'DIY' celebrity in the digital era. It examines the economics, aesthetics, production, histories, futures and ideological functions of the television personality across a range of examples, including:

* Benny Hill, Steve Irwin, Oprah Winfrey, Cilla Black, Simon Cowell, Ricky Gervais, Alan Titchmarsh, Nigel Lythgoe

* The stars of YouTube and television's smaller screens

* Extras, Top Gear, The Naked Chef, The Weakest Link.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages225
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-203-84268-3
ISBN (Print)978-0-415-48188-5, 978-0-415-48189-2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Cite this