In Confidence: Talking Frankly about Fame

In Confidence: Talking Frankly about Fame

Celebrity artists, scientists, actors, film-makers and novelists on being famous.


A study of celebrity based on the seventy odd interviews featured in the Sky Arts television series, In Confidence. Informants include David Schwimmer, Stephen Fry, Harry Belafonte, Alan Ayckbourn, Kathie Burke, Michael Frayn, Christopher Hitchens, Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Sheila Hancock, Richard Dawkins, Miriam Margolys, Tracey Emin, and Nigel Kennedy. Here you will find everyone from politicians to artists, film-makers to novelists, talking frankly about fame and reputation.


Subtitled ‘talking frankly about fame’ this is a compilation of a series of interviews on Sky Arts that constitutes a reflection on the nature of celebrity. The introduction reminds the reader of other interview series such as Face to Face with John Freeman, In the Psychiatrist’s Chair with Anthony Clare and the series with Sir Michael Parkinson. The book is structured thematically with interviews about making music, art and stories, with about four interviews per chapter. There are then reflections on family and friends and the nature of identity relation to celebrity. Stephen Fry discusses various ways in which he copes with his own fame, sometimes with books in brief 72 Network Review Winter 2015 self-deprecation. He reflects that most communications are looking to take something from you, which is ultimately exhausting. It is very instructive to learn that Nigel Kennedy’s trademark casual clothing on stage actually began with him leaving his smart outfit in New York when he was playing in London! He explains that much of his persona is designed to break down barriers, which one senses in his performance of Bach in an Irish parish church with comfortable informality. Sir Alan Ayckbourn recounts an amusing incident with a local who is astonished that he still lives in Scarborough when he could live in Bridlington, having made a great deal of money. One intriguing line of demarcation becoming a celebrity is when journalists become interested in details of private lives, as so many famous people have found to their cost. The book gives an important insight into the varieties of contemporary fame. ~ David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer

In an age of soapy soundbites, Taylor's hour-long interview strand is a serious attempt to delve deeper into its subjects. ~ The Telegraph

In this era of presentation bells and whistles, it's hard to over-emphasise how satisfying it is to see a television show that simply involves two engaging and articulate people talking to each other… Great stuff. ~ Time Out

Laurie Taylor
Laurie Taylor The broadcaster Laurie Taylor has been one of the most distinctive voices on BBC Radio 4 for over 40 years. His weekly live programme Thinki...
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