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Tom Payne
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Tom Payne was for four years deputy literary editor of the Daily Telegraph and now teaches Classics at Sherborne School in Dorset, England. He blogs about how celebrity culture intersects with the Classics at Popcropolis.com. His book FAME will be published by Picador in November.

Blog Entries by Tom Payne

Dead at 27; But the Number Tells Us Almost Nothing About Amy Winehouse the Artist

Posted July 25, 2011 | 16:58:39 (EST)

It's chilling to read Byron's poem, "On This Day I Complete My Thirty-Sixth Year." It was one of his last. He writes of being already old. He appears to know that he is to die soon.

When the BBC announced Amy Winehouse's death, the sentence it took was...

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When Celebrities Make The News, And The News Makes Celebrities

Posted July 13, 2011 | 21:45:21 (EST)

We're all shocked. We're all justified in being shocked. Out come the words for being shocked: nauseated, disgusted, appalled, disgusted and nauseated.

It took something genuinely horrible to elicit this reaction from all of us, and not only those who bought the News of the World every week. It took...

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Lady Gaga, Is it Possible You've Been Reading My Stuff?

Posted February 23, 2011 | 13:14:32 (EST)

Dear Lady Gaga,

I wonder if it's at all possible that you've been reading my stuff?

When I last wrote about you, it was to put your meat outfit into a cultural context. In case you didn't see it, I was paying homage to your ability to express...

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Don't Worry, Your Highness -- I Screwed Up My Wedding Invites, Too

Posted February 22, 2011 | 18:04:36 (EST)

Dear Prince William,

You must be hugely excited about getting married, and I know there'll be a lot on your mind, so I won't keep you long.

I envy you the whole business of the vows, choosing the hymns, declaring your love. (You've also managed to shave off some costs...

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Salinger Courted Fame After All

Posted January 27, 2011 | 20:35:43 (EST)

We thought he was the tight-lipped, pap-menacing boffin who wrote The Catcher in the Rye, but it turns out that he was a media popsy who was desperate to make contact with people and write books apart from The Catcher in the Rye.

The news from East Anglia is that...

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What Will Piers Morgan be Like?

Posted January 12, 2011 | 18:07:49 (EST)

Piers Warning: a Morgan from History.

I know he's not really called Piers Warning, but I presume you know whom I'm talking about. In the London Times last weekend he whooped about being a one-name celebrity, "like Madonna".

You do know about Piers Morgan, right? I ask because I'm British,...

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Lady Gaga and the Episode with the Meat

Posted September 22, 2010 | 16:18:50 (EST)

Ever since the episode with the meat, I've been leafing through the papers, and thinking that if there's not a picture of Lady Gaga immediately to hand, then something's wrong. Perhaps, for a moment, there's been a lull in the debate about whether or not she's a feminist icon, or...

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