Celebrities – we are still incapable of learning the lessons

Furore this week following further revelations about Jimmy Savile. Decades ago senior staff ignored and failed to pass on complaints about his behaviour and warnings were issued that he was a celebrity and not to be upset or challenged.

Only four years ago I contacted a BBC producer responsible for a programme in which a celebrity friend of a celebrity chef had shown himself handling a boar pig with a sow in heat without the slightest of protection or precaution. I explained that one of the first farmers for whom I had worked had a wide scar the length of one arm following an attack by a boar pig that he had tried to separate from a sow that had been in season.

This celebrity had gone on to show off his bee-handling. This he did without wearing any protective clothing at all, something that I can do, like many of my fellow beekeepers, when the circumstances are right, but not, as I tried to explain to the producer, when I am being watched by millions of urban viewers incapable of understanding the risks involved.
I explained to the producer that I was qualified as an agriculturalist, that I had bred pigs for a living and still kept bees. To no avail; his man was a celebrity and who were we to question what he did.

Then this week Robbie Savage can persuade magistrates that 99 mph does not matter if you are a celebrity, using your car as a means of respite or escape from your many fans.

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