The celebrity entrepreneur on television: profile, politics and power

Boyle, R. and Kelly, L. (2010) The celebrity entrepreneur on television: profile, politics and power. Celebrity Studies, 1(3), pp. 334-350. (doi: 10.1080/19392397.2010.511135)




This article examines the rise of the ‘celebrity entrepreneur’ on television through the emergence of the ‘business entertainment format’ and considers the ways in which regular television exposure can be converted into political influence. Within television studies there has been a preoccupation in recent years with how lifestyle and reality formats work to transform ‘ordinary’ people into celebrities. As a result, the contribution of vocationally skilled business professionals to factual entertainment programming has gone almost unnoticed. This article draws on interviews with key media industry professionals and begins by looking at the construction of entrepreneurs as different types of television personalities and how discourses of work, skill and knowledge function in business shows. It then outlines how entrepreneurs can utilize their newly acquired televisual skills to cultivate a wider media profile and secure various forms of political access and influence. Integral to this is the centrality of public relations and media management agencies in shaping media discourses and developing the individual as a ‘brand identity’ that can be used to endorse a range of products or ideas. This has led to policy makers and politicians attempting to mobilize the media profile of celebrity entrepreneurs to reach out and connect with the public on business and enterprise-related issues.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Celebrity Studies 1(3):334-350, 2010, Copyright © 2010 Taylor and Francis, available online at:
Keywords:Television, entrepreneur, politics, public relations, Dragons’ Den
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kelly, Dr Lisa and Boyle, Professor Raymond
Authors: Boyle, R., and Kelly, L.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Journal Name:Celebrity Studies
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1939-2400
Published Online:02 November 2010
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2010 Taylor and Francis
First Published:First published in Celebrity Studies 1(3):334-350
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
476001Public Understanding of Business; Television, Representation and EnterpreneurshipRaymond BoyleArts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)AH/F017073/1CCA - THEATRE FILM AND TV STUDIES