MR PENDLE: Ignorance should not be a celebrity badege of honour

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A RECENT edition of Celebrity Mastermind had a young female contestant gushing to the camera about how she “wanted to do everything” before she died as she sat down.

And after hearing some of the answers she gave to some easy questions that would not have taxed the average 14-year-old, Mr Pendle wondered if improving her general knowledge by going back to school might be near the top of any list of “everything” she might like to do.

But given her scatter-brained nature (her only claim to being a celebrity was having won some reality TV show), Mr Pendle would assume this aspect of her life would instead feature somewhere near the bottom of her personal ladder.

For instance, she did not know what Alexander Graham Bell was granted a patent for (Mr Pendle might ask if she, in fact, knew what a patent was. Her answer, by the way, was the light bulb).

But things got even worse - she did not know which breed of dog had types such as Cocker and Springer.

But let us not concern ourselves with the fact Stacey Solomon - for it was she - could not answer such simple questions. There were, after all, other celebrities on other editions in the series with a similarly alarming low level of dim-wittedness.

Let us not be worried her total score in the quiz of 10 points was less than half of the other three contestants - and she did not seem in the least bit embarrassed by her lack of knowledge.

And let us not be bothered by the fact the audience seemed to share her delight in having her ignorance exposed to the nation.

Such is the depth of infatuation so many people have with the most minor of celebrities that they and their admirers sport their dimness in shows like this as some kind of badge of honour.

Shouldn’t they instead be wearing a badge of shame?

IT is almost 43 years since man landed on the moon, and a little more than half a century since the Russian probe Luna 2 became the first craft to touch down there.

Headline news way back then - but what about travel to the moon today?

Had Mr Pendle not stumbled across the fact that twin satellites launched by the USA had gone into orbit around the Moon last month via a news website, he would not have known anything about it.

No newspapers have mentioned it.

No TV or radio news bulletins have mentioned it either.

Have we gone so far in the last 50 years that travel to our satellite for scientific research is treated as something of no significance?