Rants

Psychologists have warned that children are being “neglected” in favour of sitting them in front of the television.  They added that parents need to regain control and do more to stop the amount of time their children spend sitting in front of the television.

As television is becoming more and more accessible by devices such as the iTouch and iPad, and it is becoming more and more common for children to have televisions in their rooms or more than one or two televisions in their houses, it’s inevitable that more and more of them will watch TV as something to do.

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The News of the World today reports that Simon Cowell has yet again delayed the start of this year’s UK X Factor auditions so that he can personally “oversee” them.

The news comes after it was revealed today that Dannii Minogue won’t be on the judging panel this year, and that N-Dubz singer Tulisa is to take her place.

It’s also been rumoured that Simon has a fourth judge lined up – who will join Gary Barlow, Louis Walsh and Tulisa – but that the newbie’s identity is being kept secret for now.

However, back to the auditions, and it seems that Simon has yet again delayed the commencement of the auditions so that he can be there himself.

A show insider told the paper, “Simon’s a control freak. He didn’t want the show to start without being there.

“That’s why, when the decision was made about Dannii, he pulled the plug on the Manchester auditions.

“Yes, Dannii’s been brilliant over the last few years. But what everyone has to remember is that the star of the X Factor isn’t the judging panel, it’s the format.

“As long as the talent is there people will watch.

“Yes the judges are important but they are not the key to the show’s success. The quality of the singers is everything.”

News of exactly when the auditions will now start hasn’t yet been announced, but at this rate, they’ll be delaying this year’s TV coverage too!

The Daily Star today reports that amid a crisis over who exactly will be on the judging panel of this year’s X Factor, there are to be no live auditions in front of judges for the foreseeable future.

As viewers will know, in previous years, all judges have been present during auditions, and it’s their votes that put contestants through to further rounds or drop them altogether.

However, with no firm decision as to who will be judging this year’s show, and with the first auditions due to commence in London in two weeks time, the show’s bosses have revealed the change in format.

The paper adds that those auditions – due to have been held on April 26th – have been “ditched” while crisis talks are held with Simon Cowell.

It’s expected the first auditions will now be held in May or possibly even June.

A show insider told the paper, “It’s looking likely that ITV and Cowell have come to some kind of truce where he will still have a presence on the show.”

It’s also been revealed that both Dannii Minogue and Louis Walsh will return to judging the show this year, but there’s no word as yet as to Cheryl Cole’s role in the UK show given that she’s joining Simon on the US version of The X Factor.

More news on this as we get it!

The Daily Mirror today reports that ITV chiefs have been in “crisis talks” with Simon Cowell over his involvement with this year’s X Factor.

It seems that Simon still hasn’t made any solid commitment to the UK version of the X Factor, and is instead concentrating on the launch of the show in America.

However, the paper states that one potential option is that Simon could take part in the show via satellite if he has to remain in America when the X Factor gets underway here this summer.

But a source said to be close to Simon revealed, “There’s less than a 50% chance he’ll agree.

“It’s looking more as though he won’t be heavily involved.

“It’s frustrating for them but Simon can’t clone himself to be in two places at once.”

The paper goes on to state, “The news emerged as Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie was strongly touted as a contender to judge X Factor in the States.

“Simon and record boss LA Reid are likely to be joined on the panel by Cheryl Cole, with Fergie and Paula Abdul vying for the last spot. Nicole Scherzinger will host.”

However, it seems Simon has reiterated his commitment to the X Factor UK and has said it’s a “major priority” for him to play some part in it.

The source added, “ITV are desperate to keep him on the show in some form as they know he is such an important part of The X Factor.

“But he has the US version to concentrate on.”

More X Factor news soon!

It’s emerged today that viewers have – yet again – complained about one of the show’s storylines. And after reading what the viewers said, and how the BBC has responded, please do scroll down to read my rant…

Because I am soooooo sick of the small minded people who must spend half their lives on the phone to the corporation or composing letters.

Anyway, this time, the complaints are about the plotline that features Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) becoming a prostitute after being ‘groomed’ by Rob (Jody Latham).

Specifically, the complaints are that part of Whitney’s story was aired during the Comic Relief telethon, and that as it was aired at 7pm, it was “inappropriate for a family audience”.

A BBC spokeswoman told The Sun, “We appreciate the episode was challenging so we ensured that the audience was aware of the storyline through advanced publicity and on air before transmission.

“We’re mindful of the time slot in which EastEnders was shown and ensured scenes were appropriate to the audience who may have been watching.”

And an official statement from the BBC reads, “The EastEnders audience would have been aware of the dark situation Whitney was getting into.

“In the preceding episodes viewers saw Whitney feeling increasingly unwanted and unloved, with her brother and her step-mother absent, her life was taking a downward spiral.

“Alone and unhappy, she fell for the charms of an unscrupulous man, Rob, who began to manipulate her and ultimately exploit her sexually for his own financial gain.

“We have been working with experts and charities funded by Comic Relief in order to research this story – which explores a growing problem facing many young women in the UK today – and to ensure it was told accurately and sensitively.

“It was a natural progression of Whitney’s story thus far and we felt it was an important story to tell, and hopefully to raise awareness of amongst our audience.

“In doing so, we believe it was right to show the – albeit unpleasant – reality of the situation faced by these girls, rather than put a gloss on it.

“In the episode Whitney is seen to escape and to raise the alarm – we did not leave the audience on a cliffhanger.

“The menace and danger Whitney is in whilst clear is implied rather than graphic or sensationalised and is in keeping with the audience expectations of how EastEnders would tackle a tough story in a pre-watershed manner and indeed how Whitney’s story has evolved over the last few years.

“We are conscious that Red Nose Day programming includes many different tones and themes, ranging from light comedy sketches to difficult and emotional appeal films, all of which played out around the time the EastEnders episode was scheduled to transmit.”

The statement then confirmed that prior to showing the scenes, presenter Davina McCall pointed out that Whitney was in “real trouble” and that the “tone and content” of the episode was “clearly sign-posted to viewers”.

The statement continues, “We hope that the majority of the audience would have heard the first extended warning and that the serious tone of the introduction, though truncated, pointed to the fact that the upcoming film was a gear change.

“It was further put into context by the presenters at the end of the piece, when they talked about the Comic Relief-funded charities working to help girls like Whitney.”

I was astounded to read about this issue. What the hell is wrong with people??

Do these viewers not have an ‘Off’ button on their TV sets? And are their children so swayed by soap plotlines they’re out there, as we speak, hunting out pimps of their own??

I’m so sick of a few anally retentive whiners picking up on every storyline that might be described as “controversial” on EastEnders and moaning about it, when all they need to do is CHANGE THE PIGGIN’ CHANNEL!

Nobody’s forcing them to watch so at the first hint that there was a scene coming up that may affect viewers’ sensitivities, they should have just turned over or off…

And I find it quite telling that these viewers are presumably happy to have had their kids watch scenes in which babies were dying in African hospitals – a real life tragedy – but feel compelled to ring or write in to complain about a soap storyline??

To those who complained, I have this to say: Get a life, get a grip and get a hobby other than checking Ofcom is still on speed dial.

American pop star Will.i.am is said to be “furious” with his X Factor protégé Cher Lloyd after she reportedly told a tabloid newspaper that Cheryl Cole had ignored her ever since X Factor ended last year.

Cher apparently added that Cheryl was “more interested” in her potential US career than she was in helping her.

But today, The Sun states that Will “read the riot act” to the teenager when he read her remarks.

A source told the paper, “Will called Cher to tell her that she has got too big for her boots.

“He has put a lot of money and effort into recording new tracks for her.

“He can’t work with an immature baby and won’t support her if she throws it back in people’s faces.”

In other news, it’s being reported by the same paper that Konnie Huq has been ditched from the Xtra Factor, and therefore won’t be presenting it this year.

The paper states that the show’s bosses decided she wasn’t going to offered a renewal of her contract this year because she made too many “mistakes” last year.

However, there’s no news yet on who may be in line to replace her on the show.

More X Factor news soon!

The Sun today reports that X Factor supremo Simon Cowell is in “urgent” talks with ITV bosses who are desperate for him to sign up to this year’s show.

The paper states that the show’s bosses are having “cold sweats” over his continuing delay to commit to the show this year, and their failure so far to sign up any big names to the show.

The paper also adds that the first televised auditions have been scheduled for May, and will be filmed at London’s O2 Arena, but as yet, there are no confirmed judges. The Boot Camp and judges’ houses stages are scheduled for June.

It’s believed that both Louis Walsh and Dannii Minogue have said they want to return to the show, but haven’t been offered contracts as yet. Cheryl Cole is still in the States and in talks with Fox about working on the US X Factor.

Also, there’s been no decision on who will host this year’s Xtra Factor, despite Konnie Huq having stated that she’s keen to take on the role again this year. The only definite returnee is presenter Dermot O’Leary, who signed a £1million deal last week after missing out on the US X Factor job.

However, Simon has reportedly told close friends that he won’t sign up for the UK show until after the US judging panel has been organized.

A show source told the paper, “Simon is cutting it really fine. ITV are desperate for some concrete news.

“All this dithering is seeing them break out in cold sweats.

“Simon’s focus is on the US series, which has nothing to do with ITV.

“They don’t even know if he will be back on the show – at the moment they are thinking he won’t be.

“He’s back in the UK now and they are hoping to get something from him this week so everyone can sleep at night.”

The paper also revealed that singer Lily Allen has had two meetings with the show’s bosses about becoming a judge, while Take That star Robbie Williams has said he’s too busy to take up a role on the show.

More news on this as we get it!

The Sun today reports that shamed former pop star Gary Glitter – whose real name is Paul Gadd – may have been spotted auditioning for the X Factor yesterday.

The paper’s photographer got the picture above while thousands queued for their chance to audition, and one witness, Jay Brown, said, “We recognised who it was immediately, despite his hat and glasses.

“I Googled pictures of him on my Blackberry phone – and saw a couple of moles on his cheekbone, and a line of scarring on the right side of his face.

“When I tried to take his picture he kept turning away.” He added that the man queued for eight hours outside the 02 Arena, and was “swearing about the cold” and singing, “Why are we effing waiting?”

An X Factor insider told the paper, “Production staff were being questioned and tapes looked at.”

66 year old Gadd has a string of convictions for child sex crimes, however, it seems the shows bosses don’t believe it was him who auditioned.

In other news, Shirlena Johnson was back for another audition yesterday. You might remember her from last year when she performed a pretty crazy routine along with her song for the judges.

She initially got through the auditions stages in 2010, but when it was revealed she had mental health problems, her X Factor dream was over.

However, Shirlena reckons she’s fine now and hopes that the X Factor judges will again put her through to boot camp.

More X Factor news soon!

EastEnders star Neil McDermott – who plays Ryan Malloy – was spotted by The Sun photographers yesterday leaving the home he shares with wife Michelle after revelations yesterday had had a one night stand with a 16 year old fan.

It appeared that Neil had some of his possessions with him and was tellingly not wearing his wedding ring.

He and wife Michelle have a daughter who’s just weeks old, and as reports regarding his infidelity suggested, baby Arabella was only three weeks old when Ryan met and slept with a teenaged fan.

The paper states, “McDermott bedded soap fan Chloe Peebles in a budget hotel room two weeks ago while wife Michelle Edwards was at home with their newborn daughter.

“Yesterday there was no sign of devastated Michelle, 29, at their two-bedroom mid-terrace home in Sutton, Surrey.”

It’s believed his mother was at the couple’s home yesterday, and she and Neil left together. Yesterday, Neil issued an apology to Michelle, saying, “I’ve caused heartache to those I love most, which I deeply regret.”

Meanwhile, Peebles told the paper, “I felt terrible. I didn’t want to be a home-wrecker.”

Perhaps you shouldn’t have sold your story to the highest bidder then Chloe?

More EastEnders news soon.

Gamu Nhengu, who of course hit the headlines when she auditioned for X Factor last year, is to be deported “as soon as possible” according to The Sun.

As you probably recall, Gamu was at the centre of a huge row when she was rejected by Cheryl Cole during the Judges’ Houses round, while the Geordie judge put Katie Waissel and Cher Lloyd through.

Following her X Factor rejection, it was revealed that her mother Nokutula’s visa had expired and that she had wrongfully claimed £16,000 in state benefits.

However, a huge campaign began to keep Nhengu and her family in the country, and an initial deportation order was overturned when an appeal was lodged.

But now it seems time has run out for Gamu and her family after immigration authorities deemed it “safe” for her to return to her home country Zimbabwe, despite the fact that Gamu and her lawyers claim the family could face a “firing squad” if they go back.

Speaking from her home in Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire, last year, Gamu told the Daily Mirror, “I wish I’d never entered the X Factor because if I hadn’t been on it my family would be safe, and because of me, now they aren’t.”

A Home Office source told The Sun, “We are doing everything we can to remove her and her family who are here illegally.

“They will be deported at some point.”

How very sad.

More X Factor news soon.

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