‘One time I refused to say on camera that I was desperate to win,’ she explains. ‘The producer shouted at me: “Well, f***ing pack your bags then and get out.”
‘It was intimidation of the worst kind, and I think people ought to know what goes on behind the closed doors.
‘The aim is to make your story as emotional and tear-jerking as possible, and with me they would spend up to two or three hours trying to make me cry. There was an agenda every week, and they knew what they wanted you to say – it is all manipulated.
‘They even took me back to see my father’s grave, and I was just in pieces. I was so overcome I couldn’t breathe, but they got the film they wanted. I used to shout back “I’m not crying today, don’t make me”, but they would keep on at me.
One thing I have not seen anyone mention about Britain’s Got Talent was the populist nationalism of the thing. The prize, or at least the non-cash part of the prize, was to perform in front of the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance. Now, to me, the Royal Variety Performance is Bonnie Langford, the Great Soprendo, stuff like that: nothing to get too excited about. But of the little I saw of Britain’s Got Talent, for the contestants, the idea of appearing IN FRONT OF THE QUEEN! OMFG! was like winning the lottery and getting canonised a living saint all rolled into one. But it’s pretty clear that one of the objectives of the show was to manipulate the audience into thinking that it is truly a great honour, the stuff dreams are made of, the sort of thing you’d dig up the dead for.