Fans have been Robbied. The X Factor really is finished for good
4th December 2018

Having uttered not one funny or memorable word all series, he vanishes for a two-week South American sabbatical, in the middle of the live shows, arriving back just in time to see his last act eliminated and ratings fall through the floor.

Then he asks ITV for a pay rise.

A remarkable act of chuztpah? Or the reward he expected for not singing since about mid August? I can’t be 100 per cent sure.

There was no escape from the inevitable, though, at the final of The X Factor, a strange, ramshackle old production that was split over two nights and devoted to three finalists of varying quality and background.

On the one hand there was established recording artist Dalton Harris, who could sing, as he’d already demonstrated by winning a Jamaican version of X Factor.

On the other, Scarlett Lee and Anthony Russell, who really couldn’t sing, as they’d both already demonstrated by not winning the previous year’s X Factor.

No real change there then, or with the hype and acclaim that greeted every single performance.

You want to know where The X Factor’s really at, though, you simply look at the quality of the duet singers.

Where once we had George Michael, Beyonce, Michael Buble and Rihanna, now we had Tom Walker, Emeli Sande, Robbie Williams and a real sense of anyone-who’s-available that was hardly discouraged by Dermot suddenly touting for business, on Ellie Goulding’s behalf, during Saturday’s show.

“If anyone wants to do a duet with her tomorrow night,” the host announced, “They’d be more than welcome.”

They didn’t. Though in terms of reckless offers it was nothing compared to the one Robbie made after listening to Scarlett’s version of Your Song.

“I play Hyde Park in July. Will you come and sing along with me?”

Preferably from row 173, over by the boating lake, which should be a safe enough distance, once his lawyers have been over the contract.

If you thought Saturday night couldn’t get any more random and starstruck, though, Dermot had more surprising news for you.

“Boris Becker’s got in touch to say he loved Robbie’s performance.”

He has? Jeez. Poor Boris. Youngest ever Wimbledon winner, six grand slam titles and career earnings of $25million.

Now he’s bankrupt and stuck indoors, on a Saturday night, watching Anthony Russell sing Let It Be.

You hope to hell, then, he found a doubles partner for a knockabout on Sunday night and missed the full horror of the Baby Shark tribute Kim Jong Cowell paid to his son and heir, which was positively North Korean in its execution.

Crumbling dynasties and TV shows do these barmy things, of course, in the hope of charming the viewers and fooling them into thinking the show still has legs.

It hasn’t, though. The X Factor’s been over for years, in fact, even if ITV hasn’t noticed and the viewers did pick the right winner on Sunday.

Cowell went through the motions, of course, on Sunday, paying tribute to Dalton and the show’s sponsor, but it was nothing like as telling as the one he paid on Saturday night.

“Robbie, I can’t thank you enough A) for being on the show.”

And B)

There was no B). Let alone a C). Give this man a pay rise.

ON another scandalously biased episode of BBC2’s The Mash Report, host Nish Kumar invites a missing word comparison with the Government’s Brexit plans: “It’s as if my next tour poster had a quote that said ‘Nish Kumar is a . . .  comedian.”

But it’s not a word that’s missing, is it. It’s just the punctuation.

Nish Kumar? Is a comedian?

Observation round

Who said the following last week: “They’re not at all attractive, conventionally. Their scientific name is Bugeranus Carunculatus and, together with the ball sack hanging from their chin, it’s unfortunate.”

A) Lauren, The Secret Life Of The Zoo keeper, on the wattled crane?

B) The Sky Planner blurb on Alan Carr: Chatty Man?

Bungle in the jungle

IT’S Dec who I feel really sorry for on I’m A Celeb.

Two weeks he’s been knocking his pan in, trying to bounce jokes off a co-host who’s got as much natural comic timing as your kitchen- sink tidy.

And this is how some viewers repay him?

By voting out, at the very first opportunity, Noel Edmonds, a genuine TV legend who not only made Dec’s entire career possible, but was the only campmate who added real edge to proceedings and actually lived up to the billing “celebrity”.

So no wonder Dec wasn’t just “disappointed” on Friday.

He looked enraged at the stupidity of all those members of his own audience who actually picked up a phone and voted for blank Vamps canvas James McVey ahead of Noel.

ITV is complicit in helping to ruin its own show, of course.

So I hope they swiftly dispense with the services of the production genius who dreamt up the immunity challenge, which so drastically reduced Noel’s chances of survival.

It’s left us, yet again, on I’m A Celeb with a last week that will probably be the very definition of anticlimax.

Though at the end of this year’s long, dark jungle tunnel there is at least a real “treat” in store for viewers – a live Theresa May/Jeremy Corbyn Brexit debate.

Well done everyone.

Question Time audition of the week

This Morning, Phillip Schofield to leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn: “Are we in a mess?”


IN the middle of EastEnders’ big #MeToo conversation on Thursday night, human wrecking ball Sharon Mitchell raised an interesting question: “What’s wrong with a strong man throwing you up against a wall?”

What’s wrong? WHAT’S WRONG?

It could be a load-bearing wall, for a start, the joists may be at a right angle and don’t even get me started on retaining your skirting boards or dust screens.

I’ll give you “What’s wrong”, lady.

Random TV irritations

Piers Morgan licking his strange reptilian lips whenever he mentions the name “Amanda Holden.”

All of television biggest Brexit bores ordering us not to be “bored of Brexit.”

Alan Sugar firing ruthless, scheming, brilliant and beautiful Jackie Fast, on The Apprentice.

Anton du Beke wearing shorts, on Strictly Come Dancing.

And Jeremy Corbyn generally refusing to be quizzed about international trade deals by anyone more formidable than This Morning’s Phillip Schofield and Rochelle Hume of The Saturdays.

For the very simple reason Jeremy Corbyn could no more secure us an international trade deal than he could teach Ken Livingstone’s newts to floss dance.


Sent in by The Wolfman, Lancashire. Picture research Jim Taylor.

Great Sporting Insights

Ian Wright: “Harry is like Lineker, Shearer, Owen, Rooney and Harry Kane.”

Ian Holloway: “A goal would be good for the neutrals, especially if they’re Chelsea fans.”

Charlie Nicholas: “The intent to hurt with intent is not there.”

Martin Keown: “The pitch is like a pitch within a pitch.”

TV trial pasting for Tom

TEN seconds to transmission on the TJC channel.

“The microphone’s now live,” and The Apprentice candidates are on air in “five, four, three, two, one.”

Cue Khadija . . .“Oh s**t.”

Possibly the most honest words ever broadcast on a home shopping channel, which was the perfect setting for the latest brilliant Apprentice task.

A showcase venue also for the selling talents of team Collaborative’s Khadija and Tom, who’d been lumbered with an inflatable pink sofa that looked as marketable as Gemma Collins’ vajazzle, and £49.99 tubes of charcoal teeth whitener which weren’t shifting even before Jackie and Camilla suggested a demonstration.

“Look how white my teeth are,” said Tom flashing a Somalian pirate’s smile.

“Maybe not now, but they will be, I promise you.”

On and on he flannelled as well, the awkward silences getting longer, his teeth becoming blacker.

Was Tom downcast and despondent at the end, though? Not a bit of it.

He was “really happy with that,” hugs were exchanged and he bounded into boardroom reassured by the fact: “I put my personality into it.”

“Tom?” said Sugar, barely letting him get comfortable.

You’re so f***ing fired.

Quiz show mouth-breathers of the week

The Chase, Bradley Walsh: “At what age does a young person become a teenager?”
Leanne: “16.”

The Time It Takes, Joe Lycett: “Which French queen was portrayed by Kirsten Dunst in the film Marie Antoinette?”
Kay: “Erm, don’t know.”

Bradley Walsh: “Keir Hardie was the first leader of what current political party?”
Phil: “Ukip.”

And Joe Lycett: “The Americans call it Where’s Waldo, but what do we call it in the UK?”
Kay: “Find Peter.”

TV Gold

Susanna Reid and Piers Morgan reading out their own deeply disturbing erotic fan fiction during the riotous and unmissable first 15 minutes of Good Morning Britain.

Michael McIntyre’s latest Big Show send-to-all segment confirming Eamonn Holmes has indeed downloaded the Just Eat app.

Rhod Gilbert’s laugh-out-loud parody of the home shopping task on The Apprentice: You’re Fired.

Faye Tozer’s Lonely Goatherd Charleston.

And all the running jokes, funny links and tongue-twisters supplied by I’m a Celeb host Declan Donnelly, whose comic timing is so brilliant, I promise you, he could swap every single line with Holly Willoughby, and still get all the big laughs.

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