Since it’s National Allergy Week this week I thought I’d see what was in the news about allergies. There isn’t much really, which is a shame as we should all be raising awareness. After a little research I realised that lots of celebrities have allergies, so I thought I’d find out more…
The funniest one I’ve heard of recently is Jeremy Clarkson (I probably shouldn’t laugh, but could it happen to a more deserving person? Sorry Jeremy!). He has apparently developed an allergy to nickel which manifested itself in scabs and a rash on his legs where the rivets in the jeans were irritating his skin. Ironic really that his main love in life is cars – which must contain loads of nickel, and he’s never seen out of his trademark stonewashed denims. He is not be put off though and is apparently trying painting nail varnish on the metal parts to prevent a reaction. Not sure how long he’ll stick to that regime.
I have a nickel allergy which was diagnosed some years ago. I had to change a lot of my jewellery, but apart from that you just have to get on with life. You can’t avoid paper clips, safety pins, door handles etc. for the rest of your life. I live with my nickel allergy, try to wash my hands if I think I’ve been exposed to it etc. and I think it’s grown less agressive. Mine was triggered by having my ears pierced and wearing cheap earrings I think. I remember the doctor telling me to avoid small change; yeah right, I can see that working, unless you’re the queen or really rich. “Keep the change! I only use paper money!”
I trawled the web and found the following celebs with various different allergies:
Jeremy Clarkson – Nickel
Hugh Grant – Hay fever
Bill Clinton – Nuts
Steve Martin – Shellfish, mussels, shrimp
Britney Spears – Insect stings
Antonio Banderas – Insect stings
Drew Barrymore – Garlic, coffee
Halle Berry – Shellfish, shrimp
Billy Bob Thornton – Wheat, shellfish
Serena Williams – Peanut
Jack Dee – Penicillin
Ian Thorpe – Chlorine!
Ian Poulter – Grass
Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe, nicknamed “Thorpedo” during the 2004 Olympic Games after winning three gold and two silvers, also suffered from allergies. Thorpe took up swimming at five and was found to be allergic to chlorine. Giving up the pursuit for a year, he returned in an outdoor pool. He began wearing a nose clip and outgrew the allergy.
I never knew any of these celebrities had allergies, except Jack Dee, who has created a bit of a sketch around his ranting about people complaining about being allergic when they’re not really. Check out one of my previous blogs – “Jack Dee on Jonathan Ross – allergies – what a load of nonsense!”
I’d love to see more mention of allergies in TV sitcoms, cookery programmes and films. After all, the prevelance of allergies is rising fast, or so we’re told, so surely there should be some portayal on the big screen and television. When there is it’s often misleading or sensationalist, but any exposure and awareness is good.
Do you know of any other celebs with allergies? Have you seen allergies portrayed in the media sensitively and sensibly recently? Are you a celeb with an allergy and reading my blog? Please share your thoughts.