THERE comes a point at the end of every auditions section of a Simon Cowell show, when the viewers all start asking the same searching questions.
“Is that it?” “Seriously?” “250 grand?” “For one of that lot?”
9 This year’s Britain’s Got Talent final once again had us thinking, ‘is that it?’Credit: Rex Features
Never was it more true than the 13th and most sentimental series yet of Britain’s Got Talent, where the major talking point of last week’s live shows should’ve been Simon Cowell’s hair, which had been dyed a vivid shade of gorilla haemorrhoid black for the occasion.
One David Walliams barb and a death stare from the boss, though, made it clear the subject was very much “off limits”.
And Cowell probably had a point, as well.
He knows that unless the judges act like the most credulous, gushing, “upped-your-game” morons in the theatre, then the whole show unravels.
9 Of course judges Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams must always be gushingCredit: Rex Features
Nothing new there, obviously. It’s been like that since series one.
It’s just that this year’s contestants forced them to be even more credulous, gushing and moronic than usual.
Particularly the magicians, who were all doing variations on the same trick, with such little stagecraft, that one of last year’s rejects, Marc Spelmann, was deemed best of the bunch by virtue of putting on his X mask and saying nothing.
It didn’t end there, however.
9 What BGT really needs is dingbats like Gonzo, the Japanese tambourine frenzyCredit: Rex Features
Critical faculties also had to be suspended for a procession of try-hard comedians, pub singers, sob stories, village fete dancers and that Haunting thing which had Amanda Holden gasping, panting, yelping “F***” and Simon claiming: “It sounded like being next door to you on honeymoon.”
Though probably not the fortnight inside Les Dennis’s static caravan in Rhyl.
It wasn’t all bad, naturally.
Someone almost held a tune, I’m sure, and there was a bit more tension to Jonathan Goodwin’s “Blindfold chick- en with crossbow” (and a crispy-fried duck) than there was about the Gomonov bird, who kept ducking out of the way almost every time her mate threw a knife.
9 Guy First aka State of the Fart was born to be on this showCredit: Rex Features
But what BGT really needs in such circumstances are dingbats like Gonzo, the fat Japanese tambourine frenzy, and Guy First, the Israeli bloke who can hand-fart the opening verse and chorus of We Will Rock You.
He was born to be on this show, in fact, which makes what Alesha Dixon did during his semi-final appearance even more of a sackable offence. She buzzed him.
She actually buzzed State Of The Fart, claiming he was “funny”, but she was “thinking rationally”.
A very bad idea. Think rationally, Alesha, luv, and you might as well pack up and go home now, because the nut-fudge fringe acts are one of only two reasons this carnival of the mediocre is still going after 13 series.
9 Alesha’s decision to buzz Guy was a sackable offenceCredit: ITV
The other, of course, is the hosts, Ant & Dec, who may have fluffed the odd line but they never gushed or patronised, let alone talked down to the eventual winner, Colin Thackery.
It was a majestic performance that came with a slightly unwelcome sting in the tail, on Sunday night, from Ant.
“There’s a very special new show coming up later in the year, Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions. The finest acts from the last 13 years will compete against the best acts from around the world.” Dec: “Have they got a host yet?”
Sell every share in the project immediately, if ITV hasn’t got them both nailed down on five-year contracts.
TV name of the weekDRONE operator on Chernobyl — Gvido Puke.
9 Micky Flanagan was a joy on ITV’s 7 Up & Me
The best show of 2019, Chernobyl, on Sky Atlantic.
EastEnders’ Kara-Leah Fernandes, aged ten, showing all the adults how to make a Soap Awards acceptance speech. Politely, graciously and briefly.
The brilliant and funny Goggleboxers absolutely annihilating Jeremy Wade’s Dark Waters (“Toxic super invader? It’s a bastard frog.”)
BBC1’s award-worthy Thatcher: A Very British Revolution
And the beautiful light and shade offered by the famous guests on ITV’s 7 Up & Me, where Micky Flanagan admitted: “I’m not saying my school was bad, but d’you wanna know the alumni? Me, John H Stracey, the boxer, Ronnie and Reggie Kray and the three girls who ran off to be Jihadi brides.” Though it only admits to the last six, obviously.
INCIDENTALLY, if you watch only two shows this week, make them tonight’s finale of Chernobyl, on Sky Atlantic, at 9pm, and Harry Hill’s Alien Fun Capsule, Saturday, ITV, 7.30pm, which features Oscar-nominated actor Sir Tom Courtenay playing “Michael Rodwell – blow ya top,” with Les Dennis.It’s a little bit of TV folklore in the making.
Great Sporting InsightsCompiled by Graham WrayJason McAteer: “I was worried about Liverpool’s lack of inexperience.”
Gary Neville: “Both City and Liverpool have won 14 games, Liverpool ten games.”
And Neil Mellor: “I wouldn’t say it was luck, but Spurs were certainly fortunate.”
Awards are no holiday
AND the 2019 Soap Award for Most Hastily Arranged Holiday goes to . . .
EastEnders’ Sharon Mitchell, who’d bought her tickets, sorted her visa, packed and headed off for Heathrow within 93 seconds of having the idea to go to Australia, last year.
9 Sharon Mitchell deserved the Soap Award for Most Hastily Arranged HolidayCredit: BBC
Just one of the many amazing storylines not honoured at the 21st Awards, hosted by Phillip Schofield, in Manchester, which someone on the red carpet described as a “Very Hollywood” occasion.
Yeah, very. Even if, to the best of my knowledge, The Oscars has never had a Best Bitch category.
It’s no longer part of these ITV awards, sadly, and the ceremony’s gone all worthy, making the usual disapproving noises about sexism, championing mental health campaigns and acknowledging Hollyoaks’ Jack Reynolds, who’s set to become the oldest soap star ever, at 107, beating the previous record set by Corrie’s Bev Callard, who’s about 106.
In another break with tradition, the Soap Awards had the chance to honour a genuinely brilliant episode of EastEnders, Shaki’s funeral, which movingly combined the character’s death with real-life victims of knife crime.
9 The EastEnders episode for Shaki’s funeral deserved to win in the best scene category
I need hardly tell you, then, it lost the Scene of the Year category to an entirely forgettable Gail monologue from Coronation Street.
The biggest missed opportunity of the night, however, possibly came with the “very special” gong for a member of the Emmerdale family.
“She’s a faultless pro. . . one of the show’s finest ambassadors. . . paved the way for female colleagues. So the Tony Warren award goes to. . .”
Roxanne Pallett for Celebrity Bi. . .
Oh, OK. Maybe next year then?
Telly QuizWhat in the hell was Springwatch presenter Iolo Williams talking about here?“It’s hard work. I’ve even seen a black cock with one eye – that’s how vicious it gets.”And I’ll accept any answer except “Brucie’s 1980 TV special with Sammy Davis Jr.”
Quiz show doughballs of the week
The Chase, Bradley Walsh: “Who famously said ‘Honey, I forgot to duck’, after being shot?”Julie: “JR.”
Bradley Walsh: “Who sang vocals on Duran Duran’s hit Rio?”David: “Simon Duran.”
Tipping Point, Ben Shephard: “What is the name of the cricketers’ almanack published annually since 1864?”Loz: “Cricketers’ Weekly.”
And Ben Shephard: “The Andy Warhol artwork Four Marlons features images of which Hollywood actor?”Stewart: “Marilyn Monroe.”(All contributions gratefully received).
Great TV lies and delusions of the week
Good Morning Britain, Susanna Reid: “Go and see Josh Widdicombe on tour, he’s very funny.”
Britain’s Got Talent, Siobhan Phillips: “I bet you’re wondering how my little girl is.” (Nope, BZZZ.)
And This Morning, Eamonn Holmes: “Every time I come in I go to the fridge and my doggy knows I’m going to get her something.”Bet she doesn’t.
Random TV Irritations
Alesha Dixon being allowed to vote her mate Kojo Anim through to the BGT final.
Carol Vorderman going nuclear with the compliment fishing.
Hollyoaks’ Adam Woodward appearing at the Soap Awards without socks.
The BBC’s drama department transforming itself into one big diversity workshop.
And Tory leadership hopefuls Rory Stewart and Michael Gove being mocked for their physical appearance by left-wing comedians, like The Last Leg’s Adam Hills, who are always among the first to spew right-on outrage if the Press so much as mentions what a female MP’s wearing. Target everyone or target no one, hypocrites.
9 This week’s winner, Gentleman Jack and the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Sent in by Richard Mullen, Kilcreggan, Argyll and Bute. Picture research by Jim Taylor.
CommentLEO MCKINSTRY Trump a fascist? No, loser Khan is the REAL threat to our democracy THE SUN SAYS Donald Trump should refuse to rise to the bait of the Left’s infantile abuse CommentAMANDA BATTEN Families like Ollie’s don’t need your pity, they need your support LORRAINE KELLY Criticising Charlie Dimmock for putting on weight is horribly unfair… she still looks great CommentJANE MOORE Remainers’ Brexit denial will see Nigel Farage burst Westminster bubble for good
HIGHLIGHT of the television week was arguably Gwyneth Paltrow’s spirit guide, Shaman Durek, attempting to perform “a healing process” on This Morning’s host Eamonn Holmes.
Not a one-man job, by any stretch of the imagination.
After a brief bit of finger clicking and some new-age waffle, though, Eamonn was sedated and Durek was commanding the spirits to “go into the access point in his stomach”, before asking: “Is there anything the spirits need?”
Is there ever, Durek.
Spirits, would you like a JCB?
Britain’s Got Talent winner Colin Thackery reveals he is giving his prize money to the Royal Chelsea Hospital