Who is your favourite celebrity in your country? Do you want to be a celebrity? Do you read news about celebrities? Have you ever met celebrities/pop stars? Do you believe that the news stories about famous people are true?
  • Particularly (adverb) - especially, or more than usual.
  • Latter (adj.) - near or towards the end of something.
  • Fame (noun) - the state of being known or recognized by many people because of your achievements, skills, etc.
  • Fortune (noun) - a large amount of money, goods, property, etc.
  • Well-grounded (adj.) - being based on or having a good knowledge of facts.
  • To glance (verb) - to give a quick short look.
  • In passing (phrase) - if something is said in passing, it is said while talking about something else and is not the main subject of a conversation.
  • Triviality (noun) - something that is not important.
  • Star-struck (adj.) - feeling great or too much respect for famous or important people, especially famous actors or performers.
  • To autograph (verb) - to write your signature on something, often for someone else to keep.
  • Keepsake (noun) - a small present, usually not expensive, that is given to you by someone so that you will remember that person.
  • Reputable (adj) - having a good reputation and able to be trusted.
  • Broadsheet (noun) - a newspaper that is printed on large sheets of paper, or an advertisement printed on a large sheet of paper.
  • Dispute (noun) - an argument or disagreement, especially an official one between, for example, workers and employers or two countries with a common border.
  • Salacious (adj.) - causing or showing a strong interest in sexual matters.
  • Gossip (noun) - conversation or reports about other people's private lives that might be unkind, disapproving, or not true.
  • Tabloid (noun) - (of or relating to) a type of popular newspaper with small pages that has many pictures and short, simple reports.
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Questions and Answers
M: Who is your favourite celebrity in your country?

R: I've never really thought about it, to be honest with you, since I don't particularly follow them. If I'm pushed on it, maybe, maybe James McAvoy, but I don't even know if he lives in my country anymore. He played Professor X in the latter X-Men movies.

M: Do you want to be a celebrity?

R: Oh, I think I'd sooner die, to be honest with you. Fame and fortune don't really seem to bring people much in the way of happiness or good living. Very few celebrities seem to be like well-grounded people or have a good relationship with reality. So I think I would rather be like reasonably well known for doing the right things rather than just famous for anything and have all of this money and power that doesn't actually improve my life in any way.

M: Do you read news about celebrities?

R: Outside of glancing at the occasional article and headline in the passing, no. I mean, I'd rather build up my life than, oh, focus on the trivialities of someone else's.

M: Have you ever met celebrities or pop stars?

R: I have indeed. I have met several comedians, journalists and singers. And I managed to get completely star-struck each time. So it's not really something that you get used to, I'm afraid. And I even have some autographed material from them, which makes for interesting keepsakes. I'm not sure they're worth much, but it's interesting to have.

M: Do you believe that the news stories about famous people are true?

R: I guess that depends on what is being covered and the publications covering it, when you think about it. I mean, for example, let's say it's someone's birthday in a reputable broadsheet, then I think the facts are pretty much beyond dispute there. Whereas if it's some kind of salacious gossip in some kind of tabloid, then I think nothing gets further from established truth than that. And I'm not going to invest much faith or interest in it.
M: Hey, dear listener, this is your time to tell a story about how you met Beyonce, or how I met Leonardo DiCaprio or Messi. You can just lie, dear listener, and the examiner is going to be like, whoa, whoa, you really met Beyonce? Yeah, Rory didn't say anything like this. Well, okay.

R: I said what their jobs were. I'm not gonna go around name-dropping. That's not how things work. Name dropping is by the way is when you mention the names of famous people in conversation in order to garner attention.

M: You should know who is famous in your country. For example, Rory here mentioned James McAvoy and he's a Scottish actor. Okay? He starred in X-Men and also this movie - Split.

R: But I don't know if James McAvoy is actually a celebrity in my country anymore. He's a celebrity from my country, but I think he actually lives in...

M: In the States or, well, somewhere in the UK they say. Yeah, Google says like in the States or in the UK. But he grew up in Scotland, okay?

R: Yeah.

M: But he's famous in your country. So it's okay. So you should kind of give some names. Okay? So who is famous? Maybe like a writer, Beyonce, Paul McCartney, I don't know, Messi is famous everywhere. And a good way to start it, you say, oh, I've never really thought about this. I've never thought about this. Who is famous in my country? Me? Me? Rory?

R: Well, it's not something I spend a great deal of time thinking about. And you could tell that to the examiner and they will probably understand because not everybody is interested in celebrities and following them. Speaking of which, if you follow celebrities, it doesn't mean you're physically like, they are walking and you are walking behind them. It just means that you follow the news about them and their lives.

M: Do you want to be a celebrity or do you want to be famous? And Rory told us, I'd sooner die. So I would sooner die. Death is better than being a celebrity for Rory.

R: You could say this to anything. If someone said, would you like to do blah, blah, blah? And if you really don't want to do it, then you just say, I think I'd sooner die.

M: Yeah, for example, Rory, would you like to be a singer?

R: I think I'd sooner die because that would... Well, I would die if I did it because I would die of embarrassment. So there we go. It's good grammar, though. For example, I think, Present Simple. I'd, I would and sooner for the comparative. And then the whole thing, I think I'd sooner die for the pronunciation. So it's pretty good. It's a good phrase to use, even though it's a bit dark.

M: Yeah. And you can say, for example, like, I do want to be a writer. I'd sooner die. I'd rather be a singer. So I would rather be a singer. Again, like I prefer to be a singer. So I'd rather be famous, or I'd rather die. I'd rather be a teacher, I'd rather be a doctor. This is a nice one. And I'd rather be well known for the right reasons. So well known? Famous. For the right reasons. What did you mean for the right reasons?

R: Well, well known is not the same as being famous, it's like in the celebrity way. Well-known is just like people know who you are. And if it's for the right reasons, then it's for doing good things. Helping people or having a good reputation, rather than being some, I don't know, notorious person who does all of these horrible things or behaves in a certain way. I don't really approve of that. So I don't just want to be a celebrity for the sake of being a celebrity. Being famous is the main focus. It's more about a few, well, a large number of people who know who you are, but they know you for doing one specific thing very well, or a few things that are really good.
M: Yeah. And usually, we say like well-known musicians, writers, poets. Yeah, well-known podcasters. Very few famous people seem to be attached to reality. So to be attached to reality.

R: Yes. If you're attached to reality, it means that you have a realistic understanding of how the world works, the problems that affect most people and how their lives operate. Whereas if you're not attached to reality, then you might think that you are the most important person in the universe. And everybody should drop everything just to please you.

M: Fame and fortune is kind of idiomatic, right?

R: What do you call it? A binomial. Like fish and chips or M&Ms?

M: Yeah, fame and fortune. Like he went to London to seek fame and fortune. Yeah, or like his dreams were of fame and fortune. I'm dreaming of fame and fortune. How else can I use fame and fortune?

R: Well, fame and fortune don't seem to make people particularly happy.

M: I glance at occasional articles. So when you glance at something, you just like, like quickly, you look at something quickly. And Rory doesn't follow any celebrities. He just glances at the occasional article. So he just picks up a newspaper and just like, okay, okay, so he just glances at some articles about celebrities. Like I'm not into it. Okay? And I can read some headlines. So headline is the title of an article. So you don't read the whole article, you just, okay, I glance at some headlines about celebrities. And again, I'd rather focus on something else. Remember, like we used it, like I'd rather be well known for another thing, right? Or I'd rather be well known for something. Here we use it, I'd rather focus on building up my life instead of reading about somebody else's life. Okay? Yeah?

R: Oh, not just somebody else's life. Come on. I used a really good word there. Even I remember it.

M: Oh, yes, you did, you did. Like trivialities of someone else's, else's life. Trivialities.

R: So trivialities are extremely small and unimportant details. So for example, it's like if a celebrity gets a new pair of shoes, and they're photographed with those and it tells you all about the shoes and how much they cost and the colour and I'm already falling asleep. It's boring. It's not interesting to me, so it's trivial. Other people have different opinions, but this is mine.

M: Don't bother me with trivialities. Or like unimportant details. So a good sentence to use. I'd rather focus on building up my life instead of reading about the trivialities of someone else's. We can call them celebrities, famous people, or pop stars. And if the examiner asks you have you ever met a celebrity? Oh, come on, dear listener, just lie. Say that, oh, once I met Paul McCartney in a store. What do you say about signing things? So I met Beyonce and she signed my T-shirt.

R: She autographed my, well, in this case, I have Nell Brighton's autograph on my CD. Here.

M: Yeah, so I got her autograph. Or she autographed my T-shirt, a CD, like, oh, I got her autograph. And Rory told us like I have a few autographed materials. So some things with autographs on them. Yeah, and who are keepsakes?
R: A keepsake is an item kept to help you remember someone who was involved with it. So for example, the CD is a keepsake of when I met Nell Brighton or a keepsake of Nell Brighton.

M: Or you can say, for example, like, oh, she gave me, I don't know, she gave me this necklace as a keepsake. Kind of a thing, not usually expensive, like a present and I will remember the person who gave this to me.

R: Maria gave me this little bear paw spoon as a keepsake.

M: Yeah. So cute.

R: And I have a keepsake from my grandmother, her wedding ring.

M: Oh, beautiful. When we talk about the news about celebrities. We can say that different publications cover news about pop stars. Okay? Publications, like newspapers, and online papers. Cover? They write about celebrities. Also, we have reputable broadsheets. Broadsheets are newspapers. Like paper, newspapers. Reputable? Well, they have a good reputation for writing the truth. And you can give an example. For example, if the news is in a reputable broadsheet, well, the news could be true. The news is true. Okay? But if it's some... What gossip? What did you say?

R: Oh, salacious gossip.

M: Because what do they do? They usually write some gossip. Gossip, not "gossips". Gossip about celebrities.

R: Well, it's inappropriate gossip, really. It's usually something, well, like I say it's usually something inappropriate or sexual, which you really shouldn't be talking about in public. It's people's private business.

M: Well, you understand, dear listener. Do you? Yeah, so when they write something about Beyonce having many lovers. Okay? Or they kind of, write some gossip about Brad Pitt having an affair with a lot of women. So like some salacious gossip.

R: And I have no idea why anyone would be interested in that. Moving on.

M: And where do they publish such gossip?

R: In tabloids.

M: Yeah.

R: And if you read tabloids then good luck to you. I can't help you. The opposite of a tabloid is a broadsheet. And a broadsheet is reputable, which means that they are trustworthy and have a good reputation. A tabloid covers a smaller surface area, and a broadsheet is usually bigger or covers more serious matters.

M: Dear listener, tell us what kind of celebrity, would you like to meet. And write in the comments, oh, if I could, I'd meet Paul McCartney. Okay? So if I had the chance, I'd meet Beyonce. Tell us in the comments, all right?

R: And for a bit more depth to your learning, you can always do a reflection task today which is analyze. Can you find any grammar patterns? And how can you use them to answer the questions Maria asked me? If you put your answers in the comments, then I'll be very happy to give you some feedback on Friday when I do my feedback.

M: Bye!

R: Bye!
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