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Monday 17th December 2007
Thought for the Day | COURTESY CALLING

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Written by Sarah Vernon

The new St Trinian's film, due out on 21 December, has engendered a plethora of publicity, including interviews with the young actresses who star alongside Rupert Everett (taking over from Alastair Sim's blissful headmistress in the originals), Colin Firth and Anna Chancellor. One of the young ones is Tamsin Egerton who, interviewed for the Daily Mail's You magazine, was asked about working with Dame Maggie Smith on the film Keeping Mum.

'Dame Maggie Smith was a little frightening. She was quite up and down one moment saying, "Oh, you are delicious," and kissing me on the cheek and the next minute totally ignoring me. But I think if you are an actress like that she has had so much success you can do what you bloody well like.'

I don't, of course, know if Ms Egerton interpreted Dame Maggie's behaviour correctly or not. Nevertheless, it prompts me to ask whether such behaviour is acceptable. Do success and experience give anyone the unassailable right to behave badly? I don't believe they do, not least because it sets such a bad example. Courtesy should be part of any human's make-up. There's little enough in 21st century life as it is. If our elders and betters can't behave with courtesy and dignity, there will soon come a time when it's deemed acceptable for everybody to behave as appallingly as some of the inhabitants of the recent series of I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!

I dread such a world.

Sarah Vernon 2007

 
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