This article explores the specificity of media participation in a small nation, Wales, through empirical research on participants in historical reality television. It takes as its focus the case study of BBC Wales' multiplatform project, Coal House (Indus, 2007) and Coal House at War (Indus, 2008), which exemplifies how public service broadcasters in the digital era seek to cultivate diverse forms of participation from national and regional audiences. Through drawing on interviews, text-in-action participant observation, and online postings, we examine how participants and their families negotiate issues of experience and embodiment, engaging in unpaid media labour to protect and promote their own experiences and interpretations of the show. In contrast to theories of celebrity emerging from analyses of globalised formats such as Big Brother, we propose the concept of the 'localebrity' to explain how celebrity functions in the local/regional context of the small nation.
- historical reality television
- nation; text-in-action; bbc wales