May 21, 2015Tweet
Within the small nation of Wales there have been considerable shifts in media production, with the opening of BBC Wales’ Drama Village in Cardiff Bay in March 2012. This paper considers the impact of such production shifts on how audiences understand and respond to celebrity, exploring how audiences in the local area of South Wales discuss the famous figures that they may encounter in their everyday lives. Whilst many celebrities are considered to be internationally renowned, this paper examines how stardom operates when figures are not universally recognisable. Building on recent work on local forms of celebrity, this paper explores how the figure of the ‘localebrity’ is constructed and discussed, arguing that the association of celebrities with specific locations imbues those places with cultural worth. Drawing on empirical audience research conducted in South East Wales, this paper examines how celebrity can be understood in terms of figures specific to certain small nations, adopted localebrity, and local (usually unmediated) characters.
Rebecca Williams is Lecturer in Communication, Culture & Media Studies at the University of South Wales, UK. She is the author of Post-object Fandom: Television, Identity and Self-narrative (Bloomsbury, 2015) and editor of Torchwood Declassified: Investigating Mainstream Cult Television (I.B. Tauris, 2013). Her work has appeared in journals including Continuum, Popular Communication, Popular Music and Society, European Journal of Cultural Studies, and Television and New Media.
For further details about Dr Rebecca Williams’ research project, please visit the Localebrity: Examining Audience Responses to Celebrity in a Small Nation page.