This is the real gem in the otherwise depressing discussion of just how much cash is swooshing about The X Factor:
[The Guardian's Maggie] Brown said that Peter Fincham, ITV's director of television, channels and content, was on the phone to Cowell "at least four times as week". She added that Cowell's control on the show, which his Syco TV co-produces with Talkback Thames, extended to the number of times the camera cuts to his face during a programme.
I don't think it would be so bad that ITV are making £100million in advertising revenue from the programme if, like in the old days, they spent that on doing something worthwhile to balance it out. Now, though, X Factor seems to be the high water mark for cultural contributions from the network.