You could have fooled me. Oh dear, we tuned into the third semi-final (surely there can only be two?) of Britain’s Got Talent last night.  I’m even more convinced that they need to add a rider to the title like ‘If Only We Can Find It’ or ‘But Not Much Of It’ or most accurately ‘But Virtually All Of It’s Already Been Uncovered And Now We’re Scraping The Bottom Of the Variety Act Barrel’. The couple of acts who qualified last night for the Final were OK I guess – a singing accountant who still lives with his mum and dad and an impressionist who specialises in mimicking bald men ie Phil Mitchell, Harry Hill and er…nobody else. That was the good stuff.

But it was the acts who didn’t get through (but who were here as 8 of the best 32 acts to emerge from the 1000’s auditioned in a nationwide search) who were the more jaw-dropping. This guy, Philip Grimmer (and what an apt name) danced in drag to a Madonna song, badly. He didn’t sing or even lip synch, just jiggled about a bit, hideously. This is one of his more decorous poses:

But Philip was like Darcey Bussell compared to 75 year old Jimmy Forde who proceeded to confirm every stereotype of the diddly dee Oirishman by performing Riverdance like a geriatric leprechaun with arthritis. Fortunately he’s from County Mayo because if anybody from this side of the Irish sea had performed like that it would have been considered grossly offensive. Performed by Jimmy it was just gross. Take a look at this image to get a sense of his artistic interpretation of traditional Celtic culture:

It makes you wonder what the crap acts were like at the auditions – no doubt we’ll see an hour’s programme dedicated to these sad deluded souls anytime soon as this is ITV, the people who gave us the David Dickinson Show. And speaking of which I was touched last night when immediately following BGT, ITV announced that as a mark of respect for the tragic incidents which occurred in Cumbria yesterday, they had decided to re-schedule the planned edition of Coronation St. presumably on the grounds that it is a crap interpretation of typical northern life. Ah ha, I thought, they’d no doubt broadcast something poignant and sensitive to the moment. Yep a re-run of Harry Hill’s TV Burp. Ah now that’s class.

And bugger me if this morning they didn’t go and trump themselves. From very early (I was up at 5am)  GMTV was covering the tragic story of the Cumbrian shootings. Now I know they are about to change things over at GMTV with Adrian Chiles coming in to front things and all the existing presenters being given das boot because the new bosses there realise it’s all become a bit dumbed-down in recent years.  But stalwart John Stapleton was covering the story as key anchor from Whitehaven and once he’s back doing his journalistic stuff and off that bloody studio couch he is a first class reporter.  Every half hour they came to him for a live update and over the course of 2 hours he gave  four informative, intelligent and yet interestingly different reports  live to camera. He was superb.

And then at 8.30am, rather than follow this intriguingly sad but developing story, they cut to the Lorraine Kelly segment of the programme which this week is being hosted, in LK’s absence on holiday, by that journalistic giant and former Spice Girl Emma Bunton. This is how the programme went: one minute of chat with unmemorable guests about the Cumbrian story (yes a whole minute), then one minute of inane chat about the Duchess of York, then 30 secs conversation about a girl’s true best friends. So we’d gone from deaths in Whitehaven to Scary Spice’s shoulder to cry on inside 3 rivetting minutes. But retribution was at hand  because there followed by a 15 minute cooking demonstration from Emma’s boyfriend who is such a love and prepared a lovely couscous salad where Emma tried to show how useful she is in the kitchen  and only demonstrated  that she cannot stir tea. However the programme was rescued by the appearance of Emma’s only true soul mate and long-term best friend Louis Spence (?) – the campest lisping mince of all time from the inexplicably successful TV documentary on the Pineapple Dance Studios. To say that he restored a sense of gravitas would be a deception as deep as anything a Liberal Democrat MP could come up with. It was just celebrity fawning and mwoar air  kissing of the most obscene kind.

I’m not sure if John Stapleton is about to lose his job but if he is he must have been absolutely dismayed at the thought that his lucid and chillingly inciteful reports on a horrific personal tragedy had been followed by couscous spice and pineapple mush. I hope he gets a great new job and that ITV’s revenues fall through the floor. Their sensitivity and touch is just staggeringly poor.

If you know of more inappropriate broadcasting please let me know folks. Sometimes I think I’m the only grumpy bugger  out there. Surely not?



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