Monday 14 December 2009

Political X Factor: tried and failed

One of the features of the noughties seems to be that we have all developed the memory span of goldfish.

There is a (tiny) ripple of excitement at Simon Cowell thinking about applying the X Factor to politics, though the great Michael White of The Guardian is naturally not impressed.

It has, of course, already been done - in ITV's Vote For Me in 2004.

The nation was not gripped.

Electoral law meant that the prize was, effectively, the right to stand for any constituency in the country, if eligible to do so.

The good news is that you would already have that without winning the show.

Perhaps the publicity would help propel you into Parliament.

So what ever became of Mr Rodney Hylton-Potts , who launched the "Get Britain Back" party on an anti-immigration ticket having won the show?

He took on Tory party leader Mr Michael Howard in Folkestone in 2005, and won 153 votes, finishing seventh, only 22 behind the Monster Raving Loony party.

Mr Hylton-Potts was described as a 'comedy fascist' by the show's presenter in a Times article.

ITV is unlikely to repeat the show after such an outcome. A spokesman said yesterday: “We have been underwhelmed by the response to Rodney’s victory. The fact that he won reflects that he led a good campaign and that there were enough people to vote for him. “From an ITV point of view the show was always hoping to engage people in debate and increase interest in politics. To that end it was a success. We can’t be responsible for what Rodney says.”


Jonathan Maitland, the show’s presenter, said: “The winner is a comedy fascist nutter and a cross between Lord Brocket and Mussolini. “It’s not embarrassing that he won because we’ll now respect our real politicians more.”

Simon Cowell might do better than that - but not too much better.

If he wants some issue-based current affairs debate, that's fine. But the push-button democracy element on knife crime and Afghanistan strategy is slightly harder to envisage.

If he wants to know why it might not quite work out, he might find that a box-set of the BBC's Amazing Mrs Pritchard or a quick chat with people's champion John Smeaton might help.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Check out "THE X FACTOR SONG (2009)" a great song