Everyone’s becoming better and better at less and less; eventually someone’s going to be superb at nothing.Which inevitably makes one think of the likes of Katie Price and Paris Hilton, whose most obvious talent is for being themselves. But, honestly, can’t the same be said for Williams?
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Carry on specialising
Some time last year, I wrote a piece for LC’s short-lived but fondly remembered Pamphleteer, about the end of that remarkable generation of polymathic raconteurs (your Peter Ustinovs and your John Mortimers) who could be injected into a TV chat show, apparently with no preparation and, more significantly, nothing to sell. Only Stephen Fry carries on the tradition, and even he fails to keep up the second part of the bargain. In the comments box, Boz sensibly pointed out that I’d omitted Kenneth Williams from the list; but it’s only now that I come upon a pertinent remark by Williams himself, made appropriately enough on a chat show in 1987. On the subject of increasing specialisation, he said: