The opening show of the new series of Britain’s Got Talent broadcast on April 16th 2011 on British TV, so I feel duty bound to tell you about it. Who’s in it (judges and presenters), who’s on it (contestants), who could possibly win it, and now Simon Cowell’s left, should ITV just bin it?
First off – the judges. Well Amanda Holden is a ‘much loved face on British television screens’ says the official Britain’s Got Talent website, then they list a string of programmes I’ve never seen - The Grimleys, anyone? But as she’s been on Britain’s Got Talent since the first series, we’ll have to let them off.
Then there’s ‘The Hoff’, David Hasselhoff, one of the America’s Got Talent judges – so maybe he’s here for America to tune in online, and at least see someone they know.
Michael McIntyre’s write up on the website is littered with records – best selling debut comic DVD, youngest ever presenter of The Royal Variety Performance, winner of British Comedy Awards, writer of a bestselling autobiography. I suppose if you ever wonder if Britain’s got talent, you need only check out his credentials. Except he looks like an over groomed public schoolboy, and honestly, I don’t get it. Erm…is he funny?
Anyway, what do I know? Undeterred I shall go on to the presenters, Ant and Dec. My kids love them and I can see why. They grew up together, and it shows (Ant and Dec, I mean, not my kids – though they did too), and they performed together as child actors. Natural and witty, they’re always in control, and seem to be having a great time, whoever comes on. And who can resist cute children, dancing dogs and flat out English eccentrics. Though as David Hasselhoff says to an unfunny comedienne from Liverpool – ‘I’m from America and I just don’t get it’.
Always playing to the gallery – or maybe just because he’s a jolly good chap – Michael McIntyre says he feels mean every time he presses the button to vote someone off the stage. That’ll be a first then, as he seems to press every button going with the audience who crack up at everything he says, and ‘The Hoff’ gets quite a few giggles too. As does a 9 year old boy comedian – who in common with McIntyre is full of himself, as my mum would say. And if you don’t have confidence, you’ll never get a laugh, so he seems to pull it off. Oh – and he gets the requisite Aww! that kids on telly get.
Meanwhile, if you're not under 10 or trailing dogs, here’s some sound advice to would be winners of BGT. Harness the SuBo Effect - ie walk on looking entirely devoid of charisma, fat, down at heel, middle aged, geeky, just generally unaware. And wear bad clothes.
So the telecom engineer who looked like a telecom engineer but danced like a clown, or the IT engineer who looked like an overgrown teletubby yet sang with soulful conviction may just have dressed the part, with SuBo in mind. It’s unlikely though, and that was their charm, after all. Naturally talented, yet socially unaware, and fresh out of the box.
‘He looks like he’s going on a long haul flight’ said Amanda of the singer, forgetting the judge’s side of the SuBo contract, wherein they must stay respectful despite appearances. Just in case their career depends on it.
‘On Easyjet’, replied Michael McIntyre. Whoops – think he may have revealed too much there, maybe not a man of the people after all! But then he is wet behind the ears in the Britain’s Got Talent lexicon of stars. First rule of the jury - never judge a book by its cover, or a balladeer by his Day-Glo orange hoodie and flannel trackie bottoms.
And talking of sartorial elegance, just when I was thinking the star of the night was The Hoff’s Union Jack jacket, on came the bell ringers. And I’ll leave you guessing who stole the show.
Susan Boyle: The Making Of A Dream [DVD]US
I Dreamed a Dream [DVD]UK