Why can't you make it through the checkout line without flipping through page after page of pregnant celebs in Us magazine? Alison Jackson knows why. And she photographs the people you think you recognize doing what you really want to see.

Why you should listen

Recognizing the deep-seated need of the world public to see the Queen mum seated at the toilet, Elton John getting a colonic, and Keith Richards ironing his knickers, Alison Jackson set out to create the images that we really want paparazzi to capture. Armed with cheap photographic equipment, celebrity look-alikes, and a canny sense of what we think people are doing when we're not looking, she creates images that are equal parts belly laughs and pure scandal.

Jackson's newest book, Alison Jackson: Confidential features over 300 of her images in outrageous succession. She is also the auteur behind the popular BBC series "Double Take," which focuses on the (fake) outrageous behavior of dozens of popular British political, entertainment, and sports figures. Her biggest frustration is the penchant of her doppelgangers' real life subjects to take on behavior more outrageous than her photographs.

What others say

“She fearlessly tugs away at the curtain that separates what we assume we know and what we really know about our icons and movers-and-shakers, and the result is stunning” — Sharon Steel, The Phoenix

Alison Jackson’s TED talks

Alison Jackson on the TED Blog

4 great talks for International Women's Day

March 8, 2009

To celebrate March 8, International Women’s Day, we suggest these four TEDTalks gems from some amazing speakers — artists, scientists and economists who think deeply about the role of women. Author and activist Isabel Allende discusses women, creativity, feminism — and the power of passionate thinkers and doers: The former Finance Minister of Nigeria, Ngozi […]

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Culture

Looking at celebrity: Alison Jackson on TED.com

January 28, 2008

Why can’t you make it through the checkout line without flipping through page after page of pregnant celebs in Us magazine? Alison Jackson knows why. In her work, she photographs the people you think you recognize doing what you really want to see. And in the process, she’s questioning our shared desire to get personal […]

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Quotes from Alison Jackson

I’m fascinated how what you think is real isn’t necessarily real. The camera can lie, and it makes it very, very easy with the mass bombardment of imagery to tell untruths.
Alison Jackson
TEDGlobal 2005 • 574K views Jan 2008
Funny, Ingenious
I’m not really interested in the celebrity themselves. I’m interested in the perception of the celebrity.
Alison Jackson
TEDGlobal 2005 • 574K views Jan 2008
Funny, Ingenious
That is the way that celebrity magazines work now: the more pictures you see of these celebrities, the more you feel you know them, but you don’t know them and you want to know them further.
Alison Jackson
TEDGlobal 2005 • 574K views Jan 2008
Funny, Ingenious