Britain’s Got Talent, eh? Maybe we should write something about that, given that it seems to be even more of a phenomenon than ever this year. Thing is though, we haven’t watched any of it this time round.
This isn’t due to some self-imagined intellectual agenda on avoiding The Light Channel when Harry Hill isn’t on it, or because we’re always too drunk to focus on anything by the time it airs. There is another reason. Conjure up a mental image of this tableau: you’ve got an unheralded, slightly old-fashioned variety act, who have been practicing their mesmerizingly original act for almost twenty years. It could be sword-swallowing, badger juggling, identifying the contents of sealed packages solely by their Amazon sales rank, it doesn’t really matter.
They’ll have been spending as much of their spare time as possible honing their five minute act, with the ambition of one day making the leap onto television (not necessarily in a literal sense). It’s not easy, what with having to work at the hospice on twelve-hour shifts, then getting home to look after the three kids on their own, but somehow they’ve always found a couple of spare hours every evening to nip off to the garage to perfect that tricky triple-somersault onto the vaulting horse of spikes.
Sure, it meant time in hospital, those three months in an oxygen tent after getting distracted by their mobile just as they hit the springboard, that four months without any solids after falling awkwardly off the flaming skateboard, but some lessons are best learned the hard way.
One day, they read an advert about auditions for a new talent show being launched on ITV, former home to the iconic show Sunday Night At The London Palladium. This is wonderful timing, their act has now been honed to near perfection. They go through a number of regional heats. A few bumps, scrapes, arguments and a Soviet-class amount of patient queuing along the way, finally, they are told by a researcher that they have been given the chance to perform on the big televised stage. Launch show for the series. Live. Ten million viewers will see them. This is it. The culmination of all that effort. It’ll all be worth it when they walk out onto the stage, leaving behind the countless hours of practice, the broken bones, the acrimonious splits from three different partners, and into the homes, no, into the hearts of the British public, ready to give the performance of their lifetime.
Only for Piers Morgan to sit there afterwards, oozing with smarm, wrongness, and oily glee, his mad-shaped head having decided that he hasn’t been needlessly nasty about someone for a few acts, so he’ll tell the next act that they look stupid and they should just go back to their day job, whatever that is. Piers Morgan. Disgraced former newspaper editor Piers Morgan. Thin-lipped smugtard Piers sodding Morgan. Yeah, you tell ‘em Piers. They may been able to master the art of riding a flaming unicycle along a greasy tightrope while blowing a glass swan at the same time as looking after a family and doing a sixty-hour-a-week job, but have they ever been asked to appear on Comic Relief Does The Apprentice? No. No, they haven’t.
Mind you, they’d probably be able to recognise an amateurishly faked photograph of British soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners, so it’s all relative, isn’t it?
(We may watch it next week.)