World Famous in Wellington: 'Blanket Man' and contemporary celebrity

Mike Lloyd, Bronwyn McGovern


This article presents a case study of an iconic Wellington streetperson called 'Blanket Man' in order to engage with recent academic work on celebrity. Material presented comes from both detailed observational fieldwork, and media sources. We argue that Blanket Man is undoubtedly 'world famous in Wellington', and his fame may well reach slightly further. However, it is not clear what term best describes his situation, as the way he has become well-known certainly does not fit the existing models of celebrity creation. In contrast to the dominant emphasis on the 'media', we highlight the continued importance of the spatial routines and face-to-face interaction of everyday life in the construction of this locally identifiable character.


celebrity, fame, homelessness, blanket man

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