This year I visited schools in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Romania giving my Comic Art Masterclasses to kids aged 7 and upwards, and a few adults. As part of every class, I do a demonstration strip on the flipchart and, as part of keeping them involved, I get them to suggest a celebrity who will star in it. I take four suggestions from around the room, then we have a show of hands to choose the favourite. 15 minutes later they know the basics of comic strip storytelling, and I make a note of which celebrity they chose, adding a mention of it to the front cover of the comic the class produces together.
Which celebs have they chosen? In the past few years there's been one in particular who tops the chart every time. In 2015 it was Simon Cowell (chosen 31 times). In 2014 it was Simon Cowell (24 times). 2013? Simon Cowell (25 times). Before that I hadn't started keeping a tally of the celebs the kids chose, in fact it was only the pre-eminence of Simon Cowell up to that point that had made me start counting.
So, to 2016. Who did the kids choose?
ALSO RANS Chosen only once:
Ali-A (a Youtuber)
Paul Walker (from Fast & Furious)
Uncle Ben off of Uncle Ben's Rice
William Boody aka Paul Bearer (a wrestler)
Will I Am
CHOSEN 3 TIMES:
Cristiano Ronaldo (2015 4th place/chosen 8 times)
Michael Jackson (2015 2nd / 12 times)
THE TOP TEN
10th Equal (chosen 4 times each)
Katy Perry (2015 7th / 5 times, 2014 2nd / 11 times)
Keith Lemon (2015 once, 2014 2nd / 11 times)
Lionel Messi (2015 8th / 4 times)
7th Equal (chosen 5 times each)
Ariana Grande (2015 chosen twice)
David Beckham (2015 9th / 3 times)
Declan Donnelly (2015 chosen twice)
5th Equal (chosen 6 times each)
The Queen (2015 5th / 7 times)
Barack Obama (2015 8th / 4 times)
4th Place - chosen 7 times
Kim Kardashian (2015 3rd / 10 times)
3rd Place - chosen 9 times
Justin Bieber (2015 & 14 not chosen once)
2nd Place - chosen 20 times
Simon Cowell (2015, 14 & 13 1st place)
1st Place - chosen 25 times
In 2015 Trump was chosen twice, before that he'd never been mentioned. He was also the single most featured person on the front covers of the kids comics, as we shall see. And there we see how the fickle finger of fame has pointed this year. And having pointed, moves on.