Confession time: the millions tuned in to the final of Britain’s Got Talent did not include me. Nor have I been involved in the downloading of any of the performances, or any YouTube hits. Been there, seen it: after all, this is little more than a modern day re-tread of Opportunity Knocks or New Faces.
Except for one thing, the commercial opportunities now routinely exploited as part of the package. And here we meet the real winner of this show, the loathsome Simon Cowell. This modern day impresario manages to routinely trouser a double figure number of millions per annum merely by his management and other behind the scenes activities. More, his trademark behaviour is to brusquely put down contestants and their abilities, these being the very people whose presence enables him to accumulate his fortune.
Accompanying Cowell on his journey into money is former tabloid editor Piers “Moron” Morgan, whose career took a less than satisfactory turn when the Daily Mirror dispensed with his services following a hoax over supposed photos showing torture in Iraq. Morgan indulged in a long campaign against Private Eye editor Ian Hislop, which was fruitless, and a rather shorter one against Jeremy “Motormouth” Clarkson, which ended with Morgan on the wrong side of Clarkson’s fists. Thus his impeccable qualification for sitting in judgment on others.
Cowell, Morgan and their fellow judge Amanda Holden – who was once married to Les Dennis, making her a very minor sleb – move on from one series of BGT to another, while an ever growing litany of hopefuls have their balloons burst. The contestants may enjoy some success, but theirs is as nothing to the riches on offer to Simon Cowell.
So consider this while sifting through today’s news: while BGT favourite, an ordinary and singular woman called Susan Boyle, is taken off to The Priory in a broken and exhausted state, Cowell, Morgan and the rest take the money and move off towards a pleasantly warm summer sunset.
The amateur singer becomes history, but the professional moneybags keep right on going. As Esther might have said, That’s Life.