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Annie Hayes



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I’m a celebrity, get me a second career


The celebrity trend for pursuing new skills and interests is set to inspire the public to start the new year off on a positive note, according to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).

The LSC says that an increasing number of celebrities are actively seeking new skills and launching second careers in a bid to safeguard against the ever-present threat of diminishing celebrity status. It hopes this trend will inspire the wider public to acquire new skills in search of their dreams.

“Celebrities including Helena Christensen, Joss Stone, Wayne Rooney and Mischa Barton are all keeping their options open by acquiring new skills to secure their futures in an ever-fickle celebrity world where fame may only last 15 minutes,” said a spokesperson for the LSC.

Topping the list of celebrity second careers is catering & hospitality, it says, with numerous celebrities, including Robbie Williams, Jay-Z and Jennifer Lopez, opening restaurants or training as chefs. Would-be chefs looking to follow in these star-studded footsteps can find a range of catering courses at their nearest college.

Number two on the list of most popular celebrity second career choices is in the world of fashion and beauty, with numerous stars dipping their toe into fashion design, including Kate Moss (Topshop) and Lily Allen (New Look). Wannabe Lily Allens can brush up on their own fashion knowledge by taking a course in fashion or accessory design at their local college.

“The new paths that these and other celebrities are currently pursuing prove how learning a new skill can keep career options open – and you may be able to get free funding for your A-list career,” said the LSC spokesperson.

More and more Hollywood A-list actors are favouring a move behind-the-scenes, it says, with stars including Drew Barrymore, Brad Pitt and George Clooney all involved with film production – the third most popular choice for celebrities pursuing a second career.

According to the LSC: “Celebrities are also growing frustrated with how unfulfilling fame can be, as highlighted by Joss Stone’s dramatic plans to leave show business altogether to train in midwifery. The star has said that she is afraid that she will “sit on [her] deathbed and say ‘I was just a singer'”.

“Furthermore, a new crowd of celebrity figures are actually going back to college to brush up on their basic skills in preparation for their future careers. Only this year, Wayne Rooney went back to school to achieve his Maths GCSE, whilst the already hugely successful actress Mischa Barton opted to enrol at RADA last summer to make sure she is at the top of her game.”

“There are lots of great courses and learning options available for those that want to get a star-studded career of their own. There has never been a better time to
learn new, or build on existing, skills in this country and you may be eligible for free learning.”

For information on different courses and details of funding options visit

One Response

  1. Great article
    Great article – I had direct experience of this when I teamed up with cult celeb punk rocker John Otway to get him on the Corporate Speaking circuit. Despite doing an incredibly successful talk on career development at Pfizer, 30 years of experience as a rock star was a very difficult burden in terms of ‘unlearning’ and Otway did not enjoy the experience, despite considerably better earning prospects etc.

    Mind you, it did produce a great video clip of John’s ‘aftershow’ at Pfizer – it’s on You Tube at

    More recently, he did a programme on Radio 4 on his career as a ‘successful failure’ – there is a discussion running on this for those that have heard of John at

    Perhaps the way to have a second career is to start early so that there is space to learn some new tricks?

    Peter Cook

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