Phonecalls are go­ing for a song

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

I NOW feel bad about slat­ing week.

Be­ing a cyn­i­cal old hack I’d as­sumed this ITV1 celebrity sounda­like show was nowt but a shoddy ve­hi­cle for pre­mium rate phone­lines. Well more fool me, eh?! It turns out they were on a far no­bler mis­sion than shak­ing down a few sim­ple­tons for their pocket money and pen­sions.

“We’re bring­ing back Satur­day night telly!” whooped Matt John­son at the end of last week­end’s grand fi­nale.

Where they were bring­ing it back from, pre­cisely, he did not say.

Be­cause Satur­day night telly is about the only thing ITV has been do­ing right in re­cent years.

The X Fac­tor, Bri­tain’s Got Tal­ent, I’m A Celebrity…, Take Me Out, Ant and Dec’s Take­away.



first All th­ese shows do ex­actly what Satur­day night telly is sup­posed to: bring all the fam­ily around the box for a daft dol­lop of good clean fun.

But while YFSF had its mo­ments – Alexan­der Arm­strong do­ing Su­san Boyle was a must­see – th­ese were drowned in an ocean of self-in­dul­gent celebrity schlock.

Most of Satur­day’s fi­nal was given over to the celebs telling us what a great time they’d had, like we give a sh*t, with Cheryl Fer­gi­son weep­ing ev­ery five min­utes.


Chins up, luv, only four months ’til panto sea­son.

Then there was the killer blow of the ad­di­tional round, in which the four fi­nal­ists were al­lowed to choose their own act to im­i­tate.

Af­ter weeks of be­ing forced to per­form out­side their com­fort zones – oc­ca­sion­ally with mod­er­ately amus­ing re­sults – they all dashed for the safety of the dullest karaoke stan­dards.

So, Cheryl Fer­gi­son did Adele’s Some­one Like You (Some­one Likes Food), Matt John­son did Rob­bie’s Let Me En­ter­tain You (well, there’s a first time for ev­ery­thing), Alexan­der Arm­strong did your pissed un­cle do­ing Frank Si­na­tra and Natalie An­der­son did Mariah Cary on a gi­ant swing, which was ap­pro­pri­ate be­cause she sounded like her in a round­about way. Natalie won, if you care. Not that such things mat­ter, ac­cord­ing to Matt, who in­sisted the show’s other no­ble aim was “rais­ing aware­ness of our char­i­ties”.

I guess that is why they asked Natalie to talk about her char­ity af­ter win­ning. Next year they might even turn her mi­cro­phone on.

Still, what can you do about tech­ni­cal hitches? At least those ir­rel­e­vant and en­tirely in­ci­den­tal pre­mium rate phone lines still worked...

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