Type The X Factor into Google and you’ll find endless websites and images dedicated to this wonderful weekend family show. About 15 years ago (or thereabouts) UK telly companies were being criticized for not providing enough wholesome family entertainment. They had slumped into a pit of weak sitcoms and dramas that never reached beyond a series or two. I remember reading that TV critics were suggesting a return to the good old days of the big audience, live music, cabaret acts and TV personalities you could rely on to be friendly and happy. TV needed a new breed of shows that would plant bottoms on sofas for several hours over the weekend where they could be bombarded with advertising – brainwashed to buy products they don’t need in order to prop up a dying economy. Oh, and be entertained, can’t forget that.
So now we have a myriad of shows from Ant & Decs Saturday Night Throwaway, Strictly Come Jigging About On Stage and Britains Got No Talent, to The Sunday “big beard & camp snaggle tooth personalities” Night Project and The WTF Factor. Big family shows with lots of smiling and audiences dumbly applauding everything they see on stage and laughing when instructed. Ahh the good old days are finally back on TV. They all have their place, I guess, but it’s The X Factor that I’m going to rant about.