The Reality Star Rich list

The world is firmly divided when the term ‘reality star’ is considered.

Take someone such as Joey Essex, one of the seemingly endless line of ‘stars’ in the TOWIE line-up. For every viewer who sees him as a loveable if simple rogue who has somehow muddled his way into our homes, there’s another person who regards him as an absolute numbskull who should be banished from our lives forever, or alternatively someone far smarter than his on-screen persona suggests who has cynically peddled an image for financial gain.

The term reality star is a mixed bag of admiration and contempt, and even a definition of the term is up for debate. Some have clawed their way into stardom through talent (Susan Boyle, Paul Potts), others appear to have found the magic elixir that allows them to convince people to vote for them more for their personality than any genuine talent.

For better or worse, the UK public is renowned for taking certain celebrities to their hearts. We love a rags to riches tale of an ‘Ordinary Joe’ being plucked from relative obscurity and catapulted to stardom.

The cult of the celebrity is nothing new, and many of us want to follow in the footsteps of reality stars by hitting the jackpot and experiencing our own overnight success story. It’s the reason hundreds of thousands of us audition for shows like the X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, and it’s why so many of us are pulled in by the likes of Mecca Bingo, who offer the possibility of fortunes at a cost of just a few pounds up front.

In making a list of the top earners, we should ask if there is a cut-off point in terms of time. For example, would the average fan consider Joe Pasquale, Lenny Henry or Jim Davidson reality TV stars? Almost certainly not, but the trio are among many who made their names in programs such as Opportunity Knocks – the 20th century version of Britain’s Got Talent. At a push we could even include Donald Trump, Alan Sugar and Ozzy Osbourne as reality stars, and if so they would stroll into the upper echelons of this list. But since their wealth was already in place before the cameras ever started we’ll take reality TV star to mean someone whose career has grown after an appearance, not before.

The term itself is a misnomer, as many of them are a) not stars and b) representations of a lifestyle that is anything but reality. Does anyone seriously consider the life of Kim Kardashian to be realistic? Whatever, the generously-derriered (insert job title here) has amassed a fortune of nearly £40m through her various business interests and media work, and is regarded as the richest reality TV star in a recent list compiled by the Sun on Sunday.

Next up in the rich list is Paris Hilton, who, similarly to Mr Trump, got hold of her money (or her family’s money) in hospitality before the cameras ever gazed upon her petite form. Known for carrying dogs the size of hamsters in her handbag and a love of all things cute, Hilton is worth approximately £35m in her own right, before we delve into the family coffers.

The third name on the list is perhaps the most heart-warming, but is he a reality TV star? Levi Roots was a breath of fresh Caribbean air when he strolled into the Dragons’ Den in 2007 touting his Reggae Reggae Sauce. Since then, his career has blossomed from a tasty little idea into a £30m empire. Some would argue that a 15 minute TV appearance eight years ago, with no hint of a dreadful follow-up stint in Big Brother or X-Factor, does not constitute a reality TV star. Not everything is rosy in the Roots regime according to the Daily Mail, but his bank manager is probably not that bothered.

The remainder of the top 10 list is built of names such as Boyle, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, One Direction and Leona Lewis. Gareth Gates is still estimated to be worth £6.7m, while hairdresser Shaun Pulfrey’s idea for the Tangle Teezer hair implement was rejected by the entrepreneurs of Dragon’s Den but makes the list at 21 – he told the Guardian that refusing to give up was the key to his success.

But there may be some names missing from across the Atlantic. For example, did you know that NeNe Leakes is apparently paid $1m per season for her appearances in Real Housewives of Atlanta, and that Teresa Giudice makes $650,000 for the New Jersey equivalent? They’re just two of many ‘stars’ who have seemingly fluked their way into a program but pushed their cause to the max, forcing the notoriously fickle world of US TV producing to keep them on.

Another is Terry Fator, who might at least raise eyebrows if he walked down the average British high street with his puppet ‘co-stars’, unlike Leakes and Giudice. Fator’s is another story of rags to incredible riches. In May 2007, the Dallas native performed his ventriloquism show in front of one boy at a country fair. In August that year, he’d won America’s Got Talent. Fast forward seven years, throw in a $100m contract to perform in Las Vegas, a model girlfriend and a spot as the second highest earning comedian in the world and it’s been some journey, as told by Celebrity Net Worth.

We mentioned Trump, Sugar and others whose fame was already established before reality TV burst onto our screens in a big way in the early noughties. But there is one man who was barely known before the start of the 21st century, yet his profile has exploded in the intervening years without ever so much as singing a note.

Simon Cowell is the undisputed king of reality TV. Pop Idol, X Factor, American Idol and Britain’s Got Talent have overshadowed other lamentable efforts, such as Red or Black. And there are plenty of other shows with his influence, such as Food Glorious Food and the recent Bradley Walsh vehicle Keep It In The Family. He’s even got links to the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Worth at least $650m, Cowell is a mainstay of all sides of the reality TV package of creator, consumer and celebrity.

The nature of reality TV is such that some of these names will be gone in a decade. Many will have gone in five years, or even 12 months. Maybe a star from China or India will top the rankings.

By then, TV reality as we know it will have significantly shifted, perhaps online. But you can bet that some people will know how to play the system – and others will be confined to the dustbin of viewing history.

March 20, 2015

Simon Cowell Is Going To Be A Dad

Simon Cowell is going to be a dad!

The 53-year-old X Factor judge and notorious bachelor is expecting his first child with New York socialist Lauren Silverman, 36.

And, wait for it…Silverman is still married to real estate mogul Andrew Silverman, a close friend of Cowell’s.

Cowell, 53, has often spoke out about his lack of interest in having a children.

“God, no. I couldn’t have children. If I had them here drawing on the walls I’d go nuts,” he said in 2009. “You’ve got to be up at a certain time. Got to listen. When all you want to do is sit in a corner thinking.”

But last year he seemed to be warming to the idea.

“I do really, really like kids, because I can talk to them and listen to them,” he told AOL Music. “The problem has always been how much time you need to devote to bringing up kids and I’ve always dedicated all my life to work, and at 52, I’ve probably missed the opportunity.”

Cowell was previously engaged to American Idol makeup artist Mezhgan Hussainy, but they called off their 18-month engagement in September, 2011. Most recently he dated Carmen Electra for a few months but they split in February 2013.

What kind of dad do you think Simon Cowell will be?

July 31, 2013

Simon Cowell silenced!

Simon Cowell silenced!

Told off by his mum in public! Haha!
Someone has given Simon Cowell a dose of his own medicine! The feisty American Idol judge was seen getting a right old serve by none other than is mum! Simon was out to dinner in LA?s trendy Ivy restaurant with his mother and Terri Seymour and was nattering away on his mobile phone. His mum soon became exasperated with the constant racket of the mobile, and yelled ?Turn that bloody phone OFF! I didn’t raise a rude son who talks on the telephone while he’s in the company of others!” Although Simon explained that he can’t help people calling, Mum wasn?t having a bar of it. “DON’T give excuses — just shut the damn thing OFF!” Go Mummy Cowell!

Not so close these days, Ginger and Scary Spice
Sugar and Spice but not all things nice
It wasn?t all air kisses when Former Spice Girls Mel B and Geri Halliwell recently ran into each other in LA. According to the Daily Star, the pair were out shopping separately, according to Scary Spice, “I had just left a department store in LA and Geri was right there in front of me. I was like: ?Er, hi.? I had nothing to say.? After performing together for years in the Spice Girls, both girls are now carving their own paths. Mel is taking up acting seriously. She is currently preparing for her staring role in the Broadway musical Rent. She said her life is going in a totally different direction for former friend Ginger. ?We just don’t have the time to see each other any more. And there’s nothing I would really want to say to her anyway,” added Mel B. Talk about burning your bridges!

Eminem shocks again
Eminem shows a bare bum
It was shocks all round at the MTV music awards last weekend. Eminem started the trend by baring his naked backside after performing with band D12. Next, Christina Aguilera embarassed herself by falling over on stage after presenting an award with Sharon Stone. Finally, Carmen Electra pashed not only Snoop Dogg onstage, but also Paris Hilton. The former Baywatch star was being presented with the award for the best kiss award for her three way lip lock with Owen Wilson and Amy Smart in Starsky and Hutch. Other winners were Johnny Depp for Best Male Performance in Pirates of the Carribean, Uma Thurman for Best Female Performance for Kill Bill: Vol 1.

David Hasselhoff
Short Bites…
Actor David Hasselhoff was arrested over the weekend in LA on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol…Verne Troyer, aka Mini Me from Austin Powers, is seeking an annulment from model wife Genevieve Gallen. His lawyers say the marriage claims are false and financially motivated…Barbra Streisand has auctioned off $600,000 worth of items from her personal film collection to benefit charity. She has let go of valuables such as the satin shirt worn on The Judy Garland Show in 1963, which went for more than US$23,000 and a rhinestone-covered gold silk and chiffon gown worn to the premiere of Funny Girl which went for US$5,250.

June 8, 2004

Bitching about Britney

Bitching about Britney

Thumbs down for Britney
Simon Cowell from American Idol has his claws out again. Better known for his stinging attacks on superstar hopefuls, Cowell has hit out at real celebrities. His latest blow is aimed at Toxic singer Britney Spears. He has told TeenHollywood “I shouldn’t say what I’m about to say…but the shot of her in her underwear onstage, I would’ve gone to the gym a bit more before I did that. Sorry, but true.” Ouch! The 22-year-old singer has been plagued with negative feedback from a wide range of critics on the European leg of her Onyx Hotel tour. She has picked up one positive thing from her trip though ? she has recently become an English Tea addict. The Mirror newspaper claims she came to love tea while staying at a hotel in Kensington. It has apparently replaced her regular sugar filled energy drinks. Bet former sponsors Pepsi aren?t too happy to hear that.

But Christina comes up tops!
Christina?s the favoured one
One person Cowell isn?t rubbishing, is Christina Aguilera. He has said in TeenHollywood that she has a “Great voice, great attitude. I just think this girl is a star. I really like her. Where (Britney’s) different from Christina is that she is someone who’s so reliant on great pop records produced and written for her, whereas Christina is a bit more kind of old school – just an unbelievable singer.” Meanwhile, Christina is busily fighting back at claims that she cancelled her American tour because she couldn?t fill concert venues. As reported in SheSaid two weeks ago, Christina Aguilera had cancelled her 3 month tour of North American due to strained vocal chords. The pop princess is still maintaining it?s her health that is the problem. ?They are saying I could not sell out the venues but they were all sold out. I’m suffering from a bad throat.” She has been spotted rehearsing with her crew, so fans such as Cowell can hope the tour might be resurrected.

Not so happy…
On the rocks?
Maybe things aren?t so perfect in the Brad Pitt / Jennifer Aniston household after all? Brad was recently heard on the set of Ocean?s Twelve having a bit of a domestic. His mobile phone rang and his assistant told him Jennifer was on the other end. Pitt was seen pacing up and down the set, saying, “Yes… yes… I understand… yes…!” He was so pre-occupied with his conversation that he ignored the assistant director who approached three times to tell him they were ready to shoot the next scene. Brad tried to respond to the verbal tirade but he was interrupted sharply by Jennifer. The last words he spoke before ending the conversation were, “Can you please calm down!?” Maybe it has something to do with the rumours of an affair between Angelina Jolie and Brad? Angelina was asked at Cannes last week whether she had slept with the spunky Troy star and she emphatically denied it. Friends did say that she was deliberately staying away from the sitcom star, hoping to avoid any confrontation.

Mother of twins Geena Davis
What’s with the weird names?
Geena Davis is the proud mother to not one, but two baby boys. The 47-year-old star of Thelma and Louise gave birth to Kian William and Kaiis Steven on May 6 at a Los Angeles hospital. Both mother and babies are doing well, despite the health fears due to Geena?s age. Geena and husbund Reza Jarrahy, 33, are already parents to 2-year-old daughter, Alizeh Keshvar.
And… Helen Hunt is the proud mum to a baby daughter. MaKena lei Gordon Carnahan is the first child to Hunt and her partner, director Matthew Carnahan. MaKena lei was born on May 13 in Beverly Hills, and is ?doing very well?, according to Hunt?s publicist.

May 25, 2004