Is it possible to know TOO much about someone? And what business is it of ours anyway?
The caricature of the local nosey-parker was that of a wizen old bird, who’d stand at her window all day – twitching the curtains every time a car stopped on the street. Her ears were like two satellite dishes that could tune in to a whispered conversation a mile-and-a-half down the road, whilst simultaneously monitoring a delivery to the house next door!
I’ve never understood what people derive from this kind of practice. What interest could there possibly be in listening to a discussion between two perfect strangers on a bus, or in being the first person in town with the latest piece of gossip? I’m of the opinion that if someone wants me to know something, they’ll tell me. Otherwise, I assume my nose should be kept strictly within the confines of my own affairs.
Call me old fashioned, but I believe that whether you’re a lavatory attendant or a A-list celebrity, the same rules should apply, and whilst I understand that the latter of these two might well court publicity at times, I do feel that the line should be drawn somewhere. I really can’t abide the flagrant intrusion of ANYONE’s privacy, regardless of who they are. I found the whole press hacking episode quite sickening, and while it might be a bit of fun to see some reality star or X Factor also-ran rolling out of a nightclub at 4 O’clock in the morning, shoving a camera in the face of a mourner at a funeral is quite another.
My thoughts on showbiz gossips and the perpetrators of wildly inaccurate myths are well documented on this Site. I’m sure many people would agree that PETER WYNGARDE has seen more than his fair share of fantasy stories and overblown parables about his life. There’s no doubt that his reluctance to engage with the media has, over the years, added fuel to the fire, but the problem has been self-perpetuating: the more they misrepresent him, the less inclined he is to speak with them. The less they know, the more they make up. And so it goes on – ad infinitum.
Quite recently, PETER and I were chatting about some of the madness that surrounded him during his days as Jason King; the media attention, the fans and the general mayhem. He told me that, while he enjoyed the attention at the time, fame and fortune wasn’t the reason he’d got into acting. He knew from a very early age what he wanted to do and had envisaged no other path; it was like an unswerving path leading right to the door of the nearest theatre.
The fact that people began to take an interest in him on a personal level once he’d started to make a name for himself, was something he’d not foreseen and certainly has never really felt at ease with; if there’s one thing he’s always hated, it’s talking about himself. He’s a very private man who’s always kept himself to himself, and whilst I’ve known him for more than half my life, I still wait for him to come to me with something before I’d stick my nose into his business.
Whilst I accept that fans and critics alike enjoy hearing a few well-chosen details about an actor or musician, I do wonder what some people get from digging deeper and ever more intrusively into someone else’s private life, and what exactly it is that they hoping to gain from it.
One such person writing on the Wikipedia website, has obviously devoted hours into searching public and private records – Electoral Rolls, Ship Manifests, birth and death records – in an effort to drag every last remnant of PETER’s personal life into the public domain. Not only that, but the personal details of his family members have also been pored over and laid open to scrutiny. If PETER himself didn’t join the acting profession to suffer such a flagrant and unashamed incursion, then his family certainly didn’t!
It’s a fact that publication of the British Electoral Rolls online, in addition to the appearance of websites such as Ancestry.com and Find My Past etc., have afforded the semi-professional Nosey-Parker a whole new and ominous lease of life. But this form of personal intrusion has gone FAR beyond a bit of curtains twitching!
I know for a fact that PETER’s parents and siblings would be mortified to learn that all their personal business has been pored over in such a manner. The question is, where will this contemptible intrusion end? Might we to expect it to extend to the accessing of bank details, email accounts and even medical records? It wouldn’t surprise me!
Quite who the self-important person behind this reprehensible piece THINKS he is, it’s impossible to say. A hint of his conceit came at the mere mention that PETER’s original birth certificate might be made available. Lacking any hint of irony, he declared his eagerness to examine and review it, without it occurring to him – even for a millisecond, that this document is none of f*****g business!!!
The author of this piece obviously feels that he’s doing some great public service but, in reality, he’s nothing but a voyeur with few moral values and no appreciation or understanding of an individual’s entitlement to discretion. Whatever happened to the old adage of ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’?
Some people appear to view another’s desire for privacy as an attempt to conceal information THEY feel entitled to. The names, nationality and profession of PETER’s parents and siblings; where he was born and who he lived with 50+ years ago, are HIS business and his alone. It shouldn’t be up to some random stranger to decide how much of his private life should be disclosed to the world. I wonder what wailing and shrieking there’d be if the roles were reversed?
Amidst all this imposed exposure to public scrutiny, the faux concern relating to another private matter and the way in which it should or should not be recounted reeks of hypocrisy. It would seem that it’s perfectly acceptable to throw open the doors to someone else’s life so long as you temper the incursion with a spot of Political Correctness. It’s as if you’d just found your home ransacked, only to discover that the perpetrator has left a piece of Victoria Sponge on a nice paper doily just to show that he’s really a reasonable chap after all!
While sites like Wikipedia might provide the recreational writer a platform to share his or her knowledge with the rest of us, there really ought to be some boundaries as to how far supposed ‘Biographies’ of living persons should be allowed to go. The author of this article admits that he had no interest in PETER until he began writing this piece. Along with his obvious lack of awareness there also appears to be a complete absence of empathy with a fellow human being and his right to keep his private life private.
It seems rather hypocritical that, whilst the instigator of this ‘biography hides behind a Username to avoid any intrusion into his own privacy, he’s quite content to delve into and intrude upon someone else’s. Given that some of its contributors are clearly incapable of recognising moral boundaries, it should to be the responsibility of the Wikipedia itself to monitor these articles and to ensure that some desk-bound Nosey Parker doesn’t overstep the mark.
The Hellfire Club: The OFFICIAL PETER WYNGARDE Appreciation Society: https://www.facebook.com/groups/813997125389790/