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"Media personality"

Posted by Word Camel on December 03, 2002

In Reply to: The meaning of 'star' posted by ESC on December 03, 2002

: : : Can anyone tell me whether 'star' can apply to anyone who is famous/talented/successful in any given field or if it is more specific? I had a heated debate today with colleagues who thought that Kirsty Wark (a British presenter on a news programme) was not a TV star because they thought she was not a 'celebrity'. I argued that since she is very well-known and appears on TV she must be a star. To me, star, celebrity and personality are synonymous. Can anybody help????

: : Here's my (American) understanding of the difference: All stars are celebrities, but not all celebrities are stars. A star is a glamorous celebrity. A well-known politician or author or physicist may be a celebrity but not a star. I have little notion of what a personality is in that sense.

: : The definitions of "star" in the American Heritage Dictionary include these:
: : (As a noun) An artistic performer or athlete whose leading role or superior performance is acknowledged.
: : (As an intransitive verb) To play the leading role in a theatrical production.

: A "star" is more exalted and permanent than the more ordinary actor/personality/celebrity. But the word was used so often that someone came up with "super star."

I am afraid I am with your colleagues on this one. Ms Wark is just a TV presenter and *maybe* a "media personality" at a desperate stretch. I say this because although she is well known from her appearances on television, as far as I know, her opinions are not sought nor is she invited to appear on programs soley on the basis of the interesting and profound things she has to say. AT least this was the case when I was last in the UK. I also agree that "star" tends to be closely identified with art and entertainment.