X Factor? It's more like Karaoke Factor

It pains me to return to the X Factor and weekend TV in general, but you can only spend so much time in the pub, writes our Grumpy Old Man Bill McCarthy.


It pains me to return to the X Factor and weekend TV in general, but you can only spend so much time in the pub, writes our Grumpy Old Man Bill McCarthy.

To prevent the liver taking an even worse pounding, it is with a heavy heart and yes, a glass of wine, that I sit through hours of pap involving Strictly Come Dancing on one side and Karaoke Factor on the other.

While I can just about put up with Strictly, the crass judges, the baying audience and sad cases who spend their cash on phone lines leave me bewildered.

Most of the acts are simply rubbish and would be booed off pub karaoke stages, while the judges, particularly Gary Barlow, who knows a thing or two about karaoke, look like rabbits caught in the headlights. As for Louis Walsh, he would be better in a festive pantomime.

It would appear that with declining audiences, the penny has dropped for many thousands with the X Factor.

It makes me pine for the comic genius of Ant and Dec or the subtle charms of Jim Davidson.

In fact, it’s so bad I'm even thinking of biting the ultimate bullet and borrowing my daughter's dog and venturing out into the cold and dark for a long walk.

Even cleaning up after him beats karaoke night.


We are told that the average salary in the UK is something around £25,000 per annum.

An average figure that obviously takes in the high earners as well as those souls who have to manage on half of that if they lucky.

At the same time it was recently revealed that top bosses' pay has rocketed with many earning, sorry being paid, more than 50 times that amount - plus bonuses.

It would make you laugh if so many people weren't out of work.

Apologists for this outrage argue that if you want to attract the cream you have to pay top whack.

Well, perhaps in the case of stellar performers like Lionel Messi or Ronaldo, you can see what they mean

Well we all know cats like cream and even the most useless  fat cats have been gorging themselves on it. They know the meaning all being in it together. A significant rich minority being all in it together that is.

Some top management clown was on the TV the other day saying that if we didn't pay these incompetents the kind of rewards Croesus would have envied, they will go elsewhere.

Well, apart from America, which is a basket case about to implode, where else would be stupid enough to put up with this kind of inequality?

Get your passports ready ladies and gentlemen, you won't be missed.


Our old pal Jeremy Clarkson has gone from oafish to absurd.

Maybe what he said was tongue in cheek, the real crime was that  it just wasn't funny . . . just like most of his efforts on Top Gear.

At least Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand could make you smile.

Comments for: "X Factor? It's more like Karaoke Factor"

Comic Wolf

Well Bill, you could always go to the Molineux to see your 'son' fumble his way through a football match. You could maybe give him some tips?


Reality TV has had its day. The tired old formats of seeing very poor, substandard performers who think they have talent, but really are only there for either their looks or their sob stories, the staged arguments between judges, the faked tears and the constant coverage by the tabloids of something which is really unimportant is just cheap television. Those who only want to "be famous" having done nothing to earn or work for a career by actually entertaining people and doing live performances before the talent show auditions will all be forgotten in a few years time. It has already happened, . One sees more cds by Steps, S Club Seven and Hearsay in charity shops for a few pence each, which proves they are just creations of the ego of certain Mr Nasty types. The worst thing to happen to the music industry since Stock Aitken and Waterman has been Psycho Syco and his factory of manufactured pap. Get real folks go and see real live music by real bands who play real instruments instead of shaking their backsides and using an autotune.


Empathise with most of what you have to say - except the comment about Russell Brand (yes, 'Grumpy Old Man, you do need to get out more - but not just for 'walkies').

Perhaps your motto should be: "Get me out of here, I am a TV viewer"!

My suggestion for X-Factor is to have a fifth independent judge without any bias towards any of the acts. Someone controversial like Gordon Ransey (yes, I know he is a chef). But if we could get a Gordon-like personality to take an interest, then we could perhaps have an X-Factor that at least gave us a laugh (rather than howls of derision). The show would have to be renamed and re-scheduled though (to something like the 'X-rated Factor').

As for 'Stictly', all I have to say to 'Brucie' is: Nice to see you? Not exactly! I've seen enough mummified corpses on BBC historical documentaries to last me a lifetime!