wed 12/08/2020

reality TV

The Audience, Channel 4

Don’t say this hasn’t been on the way for a while. For years now we’ve had the public working on television for free. They sing for free. They juggle and ventriloquise and suck up to Simon Cowell for free. They even live in glass houses for free....

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Opinion: Bazalgette is welcome at the Arts Council

So the chairman of Big Brother TV becomes chairman of the Arts Council. Is it good or bad that Sir Peter Bazalgette will now hold the purse-strings for our publicly supported arts, the most debated, the most fragile, the most ephemeral elements of...

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Cher Lloyd, IndigO2

Cher Lloyd first appeared aged 16 on The X Factor with a storming cover of an unofficial bootleg version of “Turn My Swag On” - a song that peaked at just number 48 on the UK singles charts. Knowing so much about music at such a young age set her...

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The Apprentice, Series 8, BBC One/ You're Fired!, BBC Two

You may think that, eight series in, applicants for The Apprentice would rein it in a bit. Overblown egos, fantastical verbal imagery to describe their always unique talents, hyperbolic self-assessment - we had all of those, and so much more, in...

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X Factor Live, Wembley Arena

The X Factor has been rewriting the Gregorian calendar since its inception in September 2004. It’s now more acceptable (nay, expected) for major label pop acts’ careers to fall like dominos after the first year, while at the other end of the scale...

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Make Bradford British, Channel 4

It's a quintessential Channel 4 idea. Take one hot-button issue (racial integration, or lack of it), go to Bradford ("one of Britain's most segregated cities," according to the voiceover), and shove a racially mixed bunch of locals into a thinly-...

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Rebecca Ferguson, Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow

Ever since that first Saturday night when Simon Cowell pulled back the curtain on mainstream pop music's most underhand dealings, there has been a certain type of artiste that a certain type of person struggles to take seriously. What is often...

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2011: From Bon Iver to Monty Burns

For about an hour in Hammersmith last October it seemed that all 2011's new music had coagulated into some kind of supernova and was exploding on stage. There were two drum kits, nine musicians, and a nerdy, lanky man singing like an alien. The...

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Masterchef: The Professionals, BBC Two

There are all sorts of reality shows, but the best ones really do strip people bare. It’s the reason why The X Factor is more interesting than Strictly Come Dancing, why Don’t Tell the Bride is more revealing of the gamble of love than Snog, Marry,...

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The X Factor: The Final, ITV1 - The Result

And we're done. As you'd expect for a grand final, everything was pumped up yet further. A guest spot by Coldplay came over like a Nazi rally styled by kindergarten teachers who once took an E, all rainbow squiggles and brain-obliterating strobes....

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The X Factor: The Final, ITV1

Well, there we go. Another series of The X Factor about to splutter and crunch to a halt. Seventeen-year-old shouter Amelia Lily has been voted out despite actually turning in the finest performances of the night, leaving delightfully rough-round-...

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CD: Rebecca Ferguson - Heaven

At last, seasonal talent-show spin-offs are showing signs of real talent. Hot on the heels of the appealing, if insubstantial, Olly Murs album, comes Rebecca Ferguson’s debut. And, if Murs’ release wasn’t too bad, people are saying that Ferguson’s...

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