Paris Hilton draws a crowd to Helsinki nightclub
Debate rages over whether Helsingin Sanomat should comment on the arrival of "World's most Overrated Celebrity"
American celebutante Paris Hilton, in Helsinki accompanying her boyfriend Benji Madden, whose band Good Charlotte were playing a gig on Thursday in the Ice Hall, duly turned up on Thursday night at the Lux nightclub, drawing a crowd of curious onlookers.
Madden was doing a DJ spot at the club, while Paris Hilton was presumably there because - well, that's what she does.
Her visit to the Finnish capital was largely unspectacular. She arrived at the airport, there was a scrimmage for photos and "How do you feel?" comments, a couple of photographers were jostled by zealous bodyguards, and Miss Hilton signed a couple of autographs before disappearing into a bus with the band and entourage.
Paris Hilton was apparently seen out and about in Kaisaniemi Park during the day, but all eyes were on her evening appearance at Lux.
A queue running to around 50 metres testified to the fact that quite a few people wanted to catch a glimpse of a real-life heiress and A-list celebrity, complete with product endorsements, modelling contracts, fragrances, and a few other less positive reasons for appearing in the tabloid headlines.
When she arrived with Madden, it was across a red carpet, naturally.
Quite as interesting as the visit itself was the hostile reaction among readers of Helsingin Sanomat to the fact that the paper's online edition in Finnish chose to mention the celeb's presence in the capital.
It was variously described on the paper's online message boards as a further example of the paper's slide down-market or the end of the civilised world as we know it, and a sizeable majority of those who took part in an online poll felt that the newspaper should not have bothered to note the matter at all, since Miss Hilton is not seen as a particularly great celebrity role model and indeed was reportedly voted the "World's Most Overrated Celebrity" in the Guinness Book of World Records.
To some extent, the criticism seems a little unfair, given that Finland has had a long and illustrious history of publicising the visits of such luminaries as the stars of the daytime soap-opera The Bold and the Beautiful, or Baywatch star and sex-symbol Pamela Anderson.
Such appearances on our shores have often been featured on the evening news, though one might ask quite how newsworthy (or cringeworthy) they were in their time.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Paris comes to Helsinki (3.4.2008)
Paris Hilton (Wikipedia)