The days of death being the ‘de rigor’ method of future proofing a celebrities’ legacy seem to be over, with many famous people now avoiding death like the plague.
‘It used to be that the ‘don’t speak ill of the dead’ convention, plus on going CD and DVD sales, made death a shrewd business move’ said PR consultant Abby Jerard. ‘But now the skeletons in your closet take up the first four rows at your funeral – and they aren’t singing ‘Candle in the Wind’, but more likely ‘Candle up your Arse’. There is no comeback from a post mortem scandal – you can’t open a home for abandoned kittens when you are dead.’
The newfound awareness of the downsides of death has caused startling changes in celebrity behaviour. Cocaine, ecstasy, and meth use are at all-time lows, and celebrities offered rehab are saying ‘yes, yes, yes’. Jeremy Clarkson has traded in his Porsche Spyder for a Volvo station wagon and has enrolled in a defensive driving course. Most shocking of all, Sir Elton John was seen eating fruit, as opposed to using it as a sex aid.
PR and ER are now going hand in hand - in the event of falling seriously ill, many celebrities have left instructions that life support is only to be turned off during the summer break. One BBC presenter is said to be so worried that he has stipulated that life support is only to be ended if England win the World Cup and Kate Middleton gives birth on the same day.
‘Our worst nightmare is an unexpected death’ said Max Clifford about a ‘much loved’ entertainer he manages. ‘So if that happens we won’t publish a death notice, but will instead announce that he has moved to New Zealand – close enough to the truth to be only a small white lie.’
A newly sober prominent guitarist summed up the gloomy celebrity mood: ‘Fuck Savile – I have to eat this salad shit, and can’t climb palm trees while stoned anymore. I feel suicidal, but that is not a viable option considering I was too out of it to recall what happened when I invited Gary Glitter, a bus load of schoolgirls, and the Epping Photography Society to visit my sanctuary for retired stud donkeys.’