Celebrities in Africa

First things first. Elizabeth McGovern, the Downton Abbey actress, sounds a thoroughly likable decent woman. But why oh why has she allowed herself to get mixed up in this kind of nonsense? A piece I missed from before Christmas paints in toe-curling detail what it is like to be a celebrity on the do-gooder trail, in this case on the road to Sierra Leone…

“We have to break in our new celebrities slowly,” confides Sarah Wilson, a World Vision representative who is chaperoning McGovern on the trip. “There will be lots of breaks so she doesn’t get overloaded.”

Perhaps not slowly enough. In the piece we learn:

  1. McGovern is not sure of the difference between Dakar and Darfur
  2. World Vision forgot to mention to her that they were a Christian organisation when signing her up – an “oversight” they said
  3. The charity paid £28,000 to McGovern’s vanity project band to help them record and tour
  4. McGovern doesn’t much like Woody Allen

I have some favourite celebrity in Africa stories – Clooney’s diarrhoea in Darfur and the soap actress who had to abandon a trip when it emerged The News of the World was about to splash her sex life all over the front pages. They have all now been trumped.

hat tip – @texasinafrica

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