By Jemima Lewis in The Telegraph
While my husband was chewing on the sofa cushions in an agony of doomed hope, I was busy spotting the celebrities at the Wimbledon final. “There’s Posh and Becks! Doctor Who! Ronnie Wood! One of the Middletons! And another one! And another one!” There were so many famous faces – from the Prime Minister to the merest boy band singer – it made Elton John’s annual White Tie and Tiara Ball look like a quiet night at the bingo.
Nor is this just a Wimbledon-related phenomenon. At any fun-packed event of national importance (or not), you’ll find celebrities hogging the best seats. At the Queen’s Jubilee pop concert, the royal box was so packed with stars that one newspaper provided a numbered chart to help us identify them all.
It does seem that the rich and famous find it mysteriously easy to come by tickets that other mortals couldn’t get if they removed their right arm and handed it over at the box office. Yet the strange thing is, most people don’t find this annoying. They accept the superior rights of the famous as meekly as previous generations deferred to the aristocracy.
A couple of years ago, my husband and I managed by circuitous means to get VIP tickets to a children’s musical, based on a hit TV show. It was a revelation.
We – the VIPs and our Very Important Toddlers – were given seats in the front rows, cordoned off from the proles who’d actually had to pay for their tickets. Before the show began, we were plied with cupcakes and party bags, and invited to bring our children on stage to meet the cast.
The Unimportant Persons at the back had to sit and watch for the best part of an hour, while their agitated toddlers demanded to know why they couldn’t have their photos taken with their favourite furry characters. Why indeed? “I’m sorry, darling: it’s because neither of your parents have ever presented breakfast TV.”