Celebrity

Audience participation is the rage.  A staggering 13 million people watched Holby City's Tom win Strictly Come Dancing, and 8 million voted in the final of the X-Factor.  Now a think tank has suggested similar contests to re-name streets and parks after popular contemporary figures.

Not content with left wing councils re-branding their streets in homage to revolutionary communist leaders, the idea is that modern celebrities should be honoured.  I wonder how many Beckham Boulevards will emerge.

But perhaps it's only right to honour the public-spirited giants who have done so much to enhance our life in West Sussex over the last year?

So if we get an eco-town, I think it should be named Flint-head, after the Minister who first promoted the idea.  Or perhaps Brown-ville, after the real progenitor.  Or maybe Balls-central, which neatly sums up the idea.

I'm not sure which public facility deserves to be named after the health officials who have tried so hard to downgrade our local hospitals.  A sewage works, perhaps.

Of course it must be right to honour great figures of our age.  But as one member of the public said on the BBC website, the term 'celebrity' is 'cheaply earned and often short-lived' these days, so streets might have to be re-branded on a regular basis.

But do celebrities need to be honoured?  They've already made their fame and fortune.  It's the quiet unsung heroes in our communities who ought to be recognised.  A few will receive awards in the New Year's Honours list.  But I'll bet that for every one of these there are hundreds more who deserve to join them.

So I'm keen to hear from readers who would like to nominate a local hero, not for a street name, but for a real honour, and I will pass it on.  In the meantime, a Happy Christmas to you all in Bruce Forsyth County ... or was that Alexandra Burke-shire?

Michelle Taylor