I did a double take when I was reading the Sunday Times last week, and stumbled across the following words: “Ozzy Osbourne, rock star and Sunday Times columnist.” Front man for heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath; focal point of reality TV show The Osbournes; bat devourer – these are just some of the images that are conjured up by the name Ozzy Osbourne. But although the list is not exhaustive, I am fairly certain that even if I were to detail every thought that I associate with the Prince of Darkness, ‘Sunday Times columnist’ would not feature.
Mr. Osbourne is not the first person to have attempted to apply the eminently transferable skills of his profession to the world of journalism. Another that springs to mind is footballing bad boy Joey Barton, who graced the pages of the Times not long ago with his insights into… well, himself.
Now I’m not saying that just because a grown man chooses to cultivate his hair so that he looks like Morrisey, he isn’t entitled to displace all those tireless hacks who have struggled to squeeze every ounce of juice out of a fruitless story and invented nonsense to get a scoop, as a writer for one of the most prestigious papers in the country. Nor do I think that the fact that everyone’s favourite Brummy rock star was banned from San Antonio for urinating on a cenotaph, erected in honour of those who died at the Alamo, while drunk and wearing his wife’s dress, means that he isn’t the most qualified person to write a health column for the Sunday Times.
Maybe my seething resentment of those who have conquered their field of expertise and then decided to nonchalantly alight on the pinnacle of another profession is not entirely unrelated to the fact that I now have to endure five weeks with no spleen-venting. I don’t know. What I do know is this. Ozzy, Joey, and all you other success-stories-turned-journalists, do me a favour and keep your two cents to yourselves, so that we real columnists can get on with our job of disparaging those in the public eye who have been far more successful than we could ever hope to be.