Simon cowell

The cruelty of reality TV was part of the appeal

Jade Goody appeared on Big Brother in 2002. She was a short, loud, blonde-haired woman who broadcast her every thought and feeling, either in her thick Cockney accent or with her unforgettable face. She became a star. In 2007 she appeared on Celebrity Big Brother, where she made racist comments about her fellow contestant, the Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty. Effigies of Goody were burned in India; the Sun called her ‘the face of hate’. Hoping to redeem herself, she agreed to appear on Indian Big Brother, where she was told she had cervical cancer with the cameras still rolling. She died less than nine months later. It was a three-act

The X Factor made all the right people cross

On hearing that the X Factor is no more after our 17 years together, I reflected on what a journey it had been, how I’d given it 110 per cent and that I would never hear those four huge ‘yeses’ again. Bravely holding back the tears, I couldn’t help but agree with its founder Simon Cowell that the show had ‘become slightly stale’ – slightly! I’ve seen twice-used tea-bags with more sheer molten stage presence than some of the finalists who made it through in the latter seasons before it was taken off for a ‘rest’ in 2018. How different it was at the beginning! After a slow start attempting