I love Frankie Bridge nee Sandford.
You know the one I mean. She out of The Saturdays with the amazing hair and cheekbones that look like they’ve been sculpted by angels.
If I could look like anyone, it would be her!
Frankie’s been on the celebrity scene for more than half of her life. Eagle eyed pop fans will remember her first foray into the popworld back in the early Noughties. She was in a pop band (S Club Juniors – remember them?) with fellow Saturdays bandmember; Rochelle Humes. Someone else who has beautiful hair and wonderful cheekbones.
Now The Saturdays have disbanded; so to speak. Each member has found other ways to keep their celebrity status in tact.
Rochelle is a TV presenter.
Mollie is currently strutting her stuff on the nation’s favourite dancefloor; Strictly.
Una is a solo singer (apparently)
And Vanessa has recently received a taxpayer-funded grant to help further her solo career. I know, I’m not sure how that works either.
As for Frankie, probably the most well known of The Saturdays, she has already done a turn on Strictly Come Dancing and can now be seen on ITV1’s Saturday prime time TV show; Cannonball. Alongside my ultimate sporting crush; Freddie Flintoff and another owner of killer cheekbones and a gorgeous mane; Maya Jama. It’s my son’s favourite TV show at present. In fact he’s obsessed.
Cannonball and cheekbones aside; Frankie has recently fronted her own investigative journalist style documentary. Entitled Celeb Trolls: We’re Coming To Get You, Frankie and her team of investigators take to the streets to name and shame the trolls who abuse celebrities from the comfort of their homes.
I’ve watched a couple of episodes and it’s an interesting, if not alarming piece of TV.
As many of you may know, I’ve been on the receiving end of online abuse.
I’m not just talking about someone calling me ugly, or ridiculing me. I’m talking prolonged, sustained trolling.
Earlier this year I discovered just how sinister Twitter can sometimes be. I’ve written about my experience here and discussed it on the radio.
We’re talking death threats, threats of violence, setting up copycat accounts pretending to be me. The whole shebang. Twitter, surprisingly, didn’t take it seriously.
The fact it’s pretty well known that Twitter don’t seem to be pro-active in dealing with online abuse, leads me to think this is one of the reasons Channel 5 decided to commission ‘Celeb Trolls: We’re Coming To Get You’. It highlights how awful people can be when hiding behind their computer screens. There’s no excuse for it. There’s no justification for it either. And often, when confronted by Frankie Sandford and her team, they squirm with shame. And rightly so. Some of the stuff these reprobates have sent celebrities is utterly abhorrent.
My online mantra is this; I wouldn’t say anything online that I wouldn’t say to someone’s face if I had to.
Often, I’ll take the piss out of celebrities on Twitter. I won’t go personal as it’s wholly unnecessary. However, celebrity culture and the way it is in this day and age is crying out for a bit of satirical piss taking.
And this is what I’m here to defend today.
Recently, Frankie Sandford took part in an interview with OK Magazine. Here, Frankie discussed her former bandmate Mollie signing up to Strictly and her new show Cannonball.
A question was put to Frankie with regards to the Celeb Trolls documentary, the interviewer asked her if trolling is still something she experiences.
Frankie’s answer went a bit like this:
Not really, but there’s always someone that has something negative to say. Sometimes it annoys you but other times you just have to think, it’s their issue, not yours. People feel the need to express their opinion when they really don’t have to!
Let’s dissect that last sentence a little, shall we?
“People feel the need to express their opinion when they really don’t have to.”
Let’s assume Frankie is referring to Twitter as the platform people are expressing their opinion via.
Twitter is a micro-blogging site. It’s a place where members share news stories, updates and opinions. That, especially in more recent years, is its main function.
Let’s look at it this way. How many TV programmes now feature an advertised hashtag during the opening credits?
That hashtag is there for people to use when discussing the TV show they’re watching. To engage in debate and conversation with other viewers. Obviously, with the producers hoping the hashtag will eventually “trend” (become a popular conversation topic), the end result being an increase in viewing figures.
Is Frankie that naïve to think some of those Tweets won’t include comments of the negative variety?
Now, I’m not condoning people saying so and so on the telly is ugly, nor do I condone Tweets that incite violence etc. However, if you are promoting conversation and debate then you’re going to have to expect there to be negativity. Not everyone is going to enjoy what they’re watching. Not everyone is going to agree with what you’re saying. And, dare I say it, not everyone is going to like you.
Stick a load of people together and someone is going to have an opinion that you’re either not going to like or you’re going to disagree with. That’s just human nature!
Now, more than ever, freedom of speech is encouraged and the need for that freedom is defended. And, I’m afraid, that if the moaning celebrities don’t like it, then perhaps they should realise the entertainment industry and all that it encompasses, isn’t for them.
It’s cut throat. It’s demanding. It’s harsh. But the rewards obviously pay dividends. You need only open a weekly celeb magazine to see how the rich and famous live.
Yes, social media has its downsides, you don’t need to tell me that. However, in this day and age, Twitter et al are key in ensuring a TV show, a song or a film are a success. It’s the way of the world these days. And inviting people to discuss their opinions regarding your offerings is always going to bring with it negativity, just as much as positivity.