Letter from Grosseto

837
Roseman, king of the agents, now lives in Italy

Showbiz agent Jon Roseman represented some of Britain’s top music stars and a host of TV talent, including the tragically murdered presenter Jill Dando. He now lives in retired seclusion in Italy. So here’s the thing. . .

My friend Oscar Corsetti and I were taking lunch in a tiny restaurant in Grosseto where a small party of maybe a dozen people were celebrating a birthday. When they left, an elderly lady with her arms around a young man’s neck for support walked very slowly out into the street to a waiting car. 

Meanwhile, restaurant staff were gathering the party balloons from inside so they could be placed in the car. The balloons made up a number, it looked like ‘10’, so I asked them in whose honour the party the party had been held. “The little old lady,” they told me. “It was her birthday. She is 105.”

Now I have lived a long life, a life no one would remotely define as a ‘good’ one. But one , as some of my friends have often explained to me, I had still lived enough to fill ten lives. 

Seeing this splendid lady I asked Oscar to come out to the car with me and translate; I told her family, who were chatting beside the car, that I’d like to offer her my congratulations. With their permission, after they’d explainEd to this wonderful woman, my honest intentions, I held her hand and kissed it. She was both full of smiles and laughter and said something to me which I didn’t understand.

Back in the restaurant Oscar told me what she’d said.

Her words will stay with me for whatever time I have left. She said, “Until next year”!

I worked in Television for over 35 years. I have seen colleagues  die and, like all of you, endured the deaths of legends. But the stench of the so-called ‘reality’ shows is a blight on all our houses. 

The media, particularly social media, describes some of the participants in these shows as ‘stars’. The great unwashed believes this to be true; sadly, so do the participants. 

Waved through security at trendy clubs, money shoveled their way, clothes given free or substantially discounted, photos in the tabloids or online  when the so-called ‘star’ turns up at the opening of the proverbial envelope, and so on. . .a truly terrible indictment of how our society has evolved.

Caroline Flack a presenter of a series called Love Island which, I freely admit to never having viewed, has died by her own hand. A tragically unnecessary death. Her family and friends will, understandably, be looking for answers. 

TV executives who exploit people through these kinds of ‘reality’ shows have a serious responsibility which they have of late been resolutely disinclined to acknowledge. Claims that they provide ‘professional counsellors’ for people damaged by their such heinous programming are merely an their admission of the awareness of the damage they are doing. They are, however, still prepared to take a risk by exposing deeply flawed people for the sake of entertainment. 

Surely the buck stops somewhere. Perhaps some TV executives should be considered guilty of corporate manslaughter?

A sad day for all sections of the media, methinks.

Pssst! Do us a favour. . .

No, it isn’t cash we seek, only kudos

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