Saturday, November 12, 2005


Train-operating company Pete Waterman has revealed that - and this may shock you - Pop Idol was fake. In a diatribe which will come as a shock to nobody, apart from Sharon Osbourne, Pete fumes:

"For me, after Pop Idol 2 finished, that was it. It's just television - it's not about music."

Which is quite sweet, really, like complaining that the agricultural elements of Emmerdale Farm don't really give any indication of what it's like running a dairy herd.

"I caught a glimpse of The X Factor and I just thought 's**t, I'm glad I'm not doing that', because everything I hated about that whole thing came back to me.

"I hated the fakeness of it all. The producers telling you you've got to put certain people through."

Goodness, all a fix, you say? However could that be?

It's the treatment of Michelle McManus, who won one of the series, that - well, let's not pretend it's keeping up awake at night, but shall we say troubles him?

"I think what we did to Michelle was appalling. We should have been taken off the air.

"She didn't have a great voice and she was grossly overweight. But we made her believe that she was talented enough to win, when she never was.

"That makes us guilty of lying to the public."

Pete, I don't think the Nolan committee are going to be resurrected to deal with this one: you were a talent show on ITV on Saturday teamtimes. You didn't take us into an unwinnable war on a bunch of lies and distortions about the possibility of weapons of mass destruction. Aside from anything else, everyone else on the show was rubbish, too. It's like the current season of Britain's Next Top Model, where even the host seems so devoid of model magic that she must be kicking her heels in the long gaps between Grattan catalogue shoots.

Besides, she might not have become a pop idol, but that's surely not what people who go on the programme are interested in - they want to be famous. And you surely can't get more famous than being able to publish a book about having a woman poke about in your shit and tell you you need to eat less pies? For it's true, next month we get Michelle McManus' You Are What You Eat diary. Wouldn't you love to give that as a gift, just to see people's faces?

In this book, Michelle records her time having her life bossed about for Channel 4's diet show, hosted by Gillian McKeith. (If you want to see what really lying to the public looks like, Pete, you might want to consider what it means to announce someone is a doctor, when really they just own a white coat and have done a correspondence course.)

Pete has other concerns, too. Like Charlotte Church not wearing appopriate clothing:

"Charlotte has an amazing voice, but have you seen her in a basque? Rachel Stevens can wear a basque. You expect to see her in one, looking sexy and singing a frivolous song. Charlotte Church you don't - it's not what she does. If you're going to do something completely different, by God, you've got to do it well."

But Pete, why should we listen to you when you've just told us you're quite happy to spout any old opinion just to keep people happy?

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