X Factor, That Dog Can Dance!, Food Glorious Food, The You Generation...is no area of life safe from Simon Cowell?
Samuel Muston is deputy editor & food editor of The Independent Magazine. He writes a weekly food column – On the Menu – which appears in The Independent on Friday and i on Monday. And also travel and general features. Follow him on Instagram at @smuston
Thursday 28 February 2013
Is there any corner of British life that Simon Cowell is incapable of introducing hyper-competition and loadsa-money prizes?
Wednesday saw the first episode of Food Glorious Food, SyCo productions’ foray into cooking, and the beginning of its search for “Britain’s best recipe” to go into production at M&S.
On the face of it, it’s twee-er than most Cowell productions. Carol Vorderman presents. Visually there are hints of the Antiques Roadshow. One of the judges has an MBE. But look closer, and you see Cowell all over it.
The judges are introduced in the same hyperbolic style as The X Factor. Lloyd Grossman by saying: “having sold millions of jars of sauce I know what makes a successful product”. There is the trail of no-hopers and the same endless, misplaced self-confidence egged-on by the TV lens. It is like the bastard child of the X Factor and Fanny Craddock - Kitchen Magic.
Cowell's newest ruse is a global online talent hunt harnessing the power of YouTube, no less. Syco has teamed up with the video sharing site for The You Generation, a year-long contest launching in late March seeking out a new talent every fortnight via online auditions.
It makes you wonder what he might try next. Surely Crufts could be gingered up with a few grand and some tear-jearking back stories? Actually, he’s already done that – last year’s one-off That Dog Can Dance! presented by Christine Bleakley.
In that case, maybe the staid world of combine harvesting can be electrified by the presence of Cowell in a helicopter? Or perhaps he could Cowell up a daytime property show with a contest to see who can design the best living room (the winner gets to redecorate the Drawing Room at Windsor Castle. Maybe we should just televise Sats exams, throw in a 20 grand prize be done with it.
TVJamie's Sugar Rush reveal's campaigning chef's new foe
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 President Obama leaves touching comment on Humans of New York photo from Iran
- 2 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 3 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 4 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
First Look at Bryan Cranston transformed into LBJ for HBO’s ‘All the Way’ film
The real reason Eddie Redmayne was cast as a trans woman in The Danish Girl
Star Wars: New action dolls launched on Force Friday ahead of The Force Awakens release
Ricki And The Flash, film review: Meryl Streep's rock'n'roll creation steals the show
Photographer captures the beauty and intensity of his girlfriend giving birth at home
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up