This week's talking point deals with the topic of celebrities. Before getting together with the members of your conversation group, go over the questions below and think of the answers, so that ideas flow more easily when you hold the conversation session and you can sort out vocabulary problems beforehand.
Which celebrities are in the news at the moment?
Which is the gossip about them? What is their claim to fame?
Why do we want to hear bad news about famous people more than good news?
What do you understand by the term ‘the cult of celebrity’?
Do you pretend to resist or do you indulge your fascination for celebrities?
Who are you most interested in?
Why are paparazzi and stalkers a danger to celebrities?
To what extent do laws protect famous people and celebrities from the media harassment?
To what extent is freedom of speech more important than preserving the privacy of some individuals?
What’s the difference between a celebrity and an icon?
Do you know…
• someone who the press has built up and knocked down?
• an ordinary person who has become a celebrity?
• anyone who is famous simply for being famous?
• any children of celebrities who have had problems?
To illustrate the topic, you can watch this famous radio interview of British BBC1 radio presenter Chris Stark talking to Mila Kunis about her film Oz. From the very beginning the conversation veers off into personal matters and we manage to catch a glimpse of the real persona behind Kunis celebrity image.
If you wish, you can do a listening activity with the video above. Watch the video carefully and answer the questions below.
1. Why is Chris nervous?
2. What will Chris get for interviewing Mila?
3. What’s a lad bomb?
4. What is the Misty Moon?
5. What does Sir Dosser, one of Chris’s friends, do?
6. Which football team does Chris support?
7. What colour is the jersey?
8. What is Nandos?
9. What time is the kickoff?
10. What will they do at half time?
11. What is ‘Blue Moon’?
12. What job did Mila use to do?
13. What’s Dicko doing soon?
14. Why can’t Mila make it to this event?
15. What is a ‘drop trou’?
16. What two characters has Mila played in Baywatch?
To check your answers you can read the transcript here, where the answers are highlighted in red.
The idea for this post, especially as far as the Mila Kunis video activity is concerned, stems from a post by Phil Wade on St George International blog.