The six-year-old loves it, which has meant that, in recent weeks, I have spun an elaborate web of deceit, designed to avoid me having to sit through hours of Cowell and his equally smug mates trying to come up with new ways of saying ‘That’s Bobbins and there’s no way you’ll be performing in front of royalty’, without actually saying so.
Of course, I wasn’t completely successful as the Boy is now a highly proficient reader and knows how to use the telly guide, meaning that the live semi-finals were staple evening viewing for much of our week away.
Despite the naysayers, myself included, we are a nation of talent show enthusiasts and I’m pretty sure we’ll be glued to our hologram screens in 30 years time, willing the schoolgirl mime artist from Whitby through to the grand final at Elon Musk’s purpose-built auditorium on Mars. Possibly.
Even though I would probably rather watch Charlie Dimmock re-pot her dahlias than sit through the earlier rounds of BGT, the live semis and finals are actually worth watching, to be fair. This is because, broadly speaking, only the really good acts are left and these episodes, which occasionally become a television event, are proof that there is still plenty of talent left in this country.
Sadly, I don’t fall into that bracket, but it wasn’t for the want of me trying in my formative years. Drama was one of the few school subjects that I was half decent at and I harboured ambitions of making it on either the stage or the small screen. I wasn’t fussy and would have settled for an extra role as a market stall holder on Albert Square, although landing a role as Jack and Vera’s lodger in Corrie was always the ultimate dream, one which was never likely due to the fact that the closest I got to the cobbles was an ill-fated trip to Granada studios on my 14th birthday.
However, trudging passed the Rovers’ Return and The Kabin did sow a seed, leading to me signing up for a prestigious youth theatre less than a year later and, despite not really fitting in - largely due to my affected Mancunian accent and a swagger that a real Manc called Liam would make his own several years later. My rough diamond status meant that the only roles I landed for three productions in front of paying audiences at a proper theatre were playing adults and a comedy extra part, which required me to wear various daft hats and a pleated skirt that, on one particular occasion, prompted much sniggering from the stalls - the ones my loving family were occupying.
It was pretty clear that I was never going to achieve fame and fortune as a thespian and I didn’t fancy subsisting on Super Noodle sarnies and tinned pies while trying to bag roles, although that’s precisely how I managed on my paltry trainee reporter wages in the early days.
After dismissing treading the boards as a career option, I tried my hand at stand up comedy - twice, neither of which will be fondly remembered by anybody. My first gig, which I was paid for in whisky and pork scratchings, was an unmitigated disaster, with my opening gag going down as badly as a Downing Street cheese and wine party. See for yourself:
A man walks into a pub with a camel under his arm, dumps it and walks to the bar. The barman says ‘you can’t leave that lying there’, to which the man replied ‘that’s not a lion, it’s a camel’.
Needless to say, talent agents didn’t come knocking and I was left with the realisation that I wasn’t funny. A fundamental flaw if you want to make it in comedy.
Perhaps I should have more respect for those talent show contestants who perform in front of millions......