Tuesday, 12 August 2014

S-list celeb - my thoughts

On his fascinating blog, Brad Keefauver waxes lyrical about the concept of the S-List celebrity.

His post (which can be read here) defines such a person as follows:
An "S-list" celebrity, then, would be anyone who has attained any celebrity whatsoever for their association with Mr. Sherlock Holmes.
Consider any Sherlockian you've heard of, whom isn't local to you, you've never met, and is still a recognizable name to you due to your interest in Sherlock Holmes.
It's an interesting concept and is, perhaps, for many of us, the ideal celebrity status. You would be known within your area of interest but enjoy the same anonymity as everyone else outside of it. That certainly appeals to me.

Do you know who I am?
Brad identifies two U.S. routes to S-List status. Namely they are publication in the Baker Street Journal and membership of the Baker Street Irregulars. Regarding the latter, it is presumably down to its invitation only policy? After all, the Sherlock Holmes Society of London (or, to be more accurate, its forerunner the Sherlock Holmes Society) was founded at the same time but does not appear to enjoy the same glamour (if that's the right word). The only difference that I'm aware of between these two great societies is that you can join the SHSL but you must be invited into the BSI. So it's the inaccessibility that makes BSI membership the passport to S-List status.

But does it really? It might in the U.S. but I would honestly struggle to name more than six BSI members and they tend to be ones I've dealt with personally and who, importantly, have published articles/books. I also suspect that members of the BSI itself would not necessarily recognise other members by name if they hadn't published something. So I personally think that publishing something in a journal or book is a more solid route to S-List status.

So what are the routes in the U.K.? Now there's a question. Publication in any internationally respected journal is a start - so the BSJ, the SHJ, the Passengers' Log to name but three. As mentioned above, the SHSL can be joined by anyone so membership is not the route to the S-List that it (possibly) is for BSI members.

But what of other routes. Since 2009, and the Internet explosion, anyone blogging or podcasting about Holmes can claim celebrity status. You can therefore argue (I think strongly) that groups such as the Baker Street Babes enjoy this status (even though some members have higher profiles than others).

What do you think are the routes to S-List status?


Written by Alistair Duncan
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1 comment:

  1. I think (if I understand the concept) you'd have to include:
    Family members of the creator of Holmes like Georgaina Doyle.
    People who founded BSI & SHSL and other like societies. Also the people who've held office with them over the years like president and treasurer.
    People who have been published-as in people who've published fiction & non-fiction books about Holmes and articles in respected journals (like you've already said).
    People who have blogs/websites/pdocasts etc. Who've gone viral like the Sherlockology folks & the Baker Street Babes.
    Finally I think you'd have to include the founders & Curators of the serious Sherlock Holmes museums because those people dedicated their life's work to spreading knowledge about the detective.
    All that being said (I wrote a book :s sorry about that!) I think you qualify as a S-List celebrity under several of these don't you Alistair? Congrats! :D

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