Remember, it’s okay NOT to watch X Factor

ON THE B-SIDE: I’M sitting in the car. My wife’s still in the supermarket. My son’s asleep in the backseat. So why am I still listening to Two Little Ducks and Frere Jacques? I really don’t have to be. This happened to me this week. I recognised the sensation as the one I get every time I find myself in front of X Factor.

I’M sitting in the car. My wife’s still in the supermarket. My son’s asleep in the backseat. So why am I still listening to Two Little Ducks and Frere Jacques? I really don’t have to be. This happened to me this week. I recognised the sensation as the one I get every time I find myself in front of X Factor.

I’ve tried everything possible to steer clear of the Simon Cowell TV Circus this year. But it’s difficult.

If your work has anything to do with the media, particularly, you’ve got no chance. Those names – contestants and judges in equal measure – pop up more in newspapers and websites than film stars or cabinet ministers; they invade Twitter feeds and dominate office conversation.

I’ve watched very little of this year’s series, but I could still give a decent rundown to visiting martians. “Yes, it was terrible about Gamu...”


You may also want to watch:


Last year, I watched the show mainly to blog on it; because - surprise, surprise - the X Factor triggers an avalanche of website hits. It was shameless.

This year I found myself with no such excuse or motivation.

Most Read

So when X Factor beams down from Planet Entertainment on a weekend night - and I’m still in the house - I make a conscious effort to do something else: read a book, watch a film, do the washing up, listen to Radiohead’s Kid A backwards. One Saturday, when I couldn’t think of anything else, I just went to bed.

When I tell certain colleagues I’m not watching X Factor this year, I generally get three reactions:

1. “I don’t believe you.”

2. “Oh, get over yourself, it’s great fun.”

3. “What else is there to do?”

As for the first one, believe it.

On the second, I do agree. I understand how it’s the height of entertainment to some; I could easily spend a couple of hours being mildly irritated/entertained by it.

Some of the contestants are okay, if not the superstars the judges would have us believe, and well done to them for climbing to the highest platform for an aspiring young pop star. It must be mind-blowingly exciting for them.

But giving a little thought to the third response is the one that brings me to my senses. There’s so much more to do. So much music I’ve haven’t heard yet; so many great films I haven’t seen; so much sleep I haven’t had. You name it, I probably need to do some of that too.

I hope you don’t read this as another of those ‘Isn’t X Factor rubbish?’ rants. It is what it is and obviously massively successful. Some love it; some love to hate it. That’s all fine. Some people only seem to watch it to moan about how bad it is and I can see there’s a certain sport to that (see: my blog; last year).

But, like me listening to inane nursery rhymes in a car outside a supermarket when I’m the only one awake, it’s not compulsory or essential.

It’s ok not to watch X Factor, really. Try it. You might like it.

And if you haven’t got a clue what I’m on about and you’re still reading down to here, I take my Matt Cardle-style hat off to you on both counts.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus