Steve Hughes, the Bard of Paradox
Found the Fish(es)

It all Boyles down to Dylan Moran

First, the performance.

Now here's the thing: I don't want to detract from the success of Susan Boyle, the 47-year-old who came second on Britain's Got Talent, who reminded people – that for some reason required reminding – you can actually be a successful singer if you sound like every woman-lover's wet dream when you vocalise, while still looking like – and I know it's harsh, but it's also true – the kind of witch that up until a generation ago owned and ran kindergartens and infants schools where they would still yell and even hit you when you deserved it because it was good for you.

On the other hand, there's Amanda Holden, the judge who actually physically resembles the wet dream. If she could sing even a fraction as well as Susan Boyle, she'd be out there gigging, rather than judging a talent contest. And as for the talent contest itself – the way it presents certain contestant in a certain light…  well, rather than my ranting for the next several paragraphs, I'd suggest you consult Ben Elton's Chart Throb. (I know, I'm citing a Ben Elton novel as a primary source, as if the compendium of one-liners that couldn't be wedged into a stand-up routine – because he rarely does stand-up nowadays – is of sociological importance; who would've seen that coming? But) Chart Throb sums up the methodology of these so-called 'talent', 'reality TV' shows that, when successful, may not be scripted but certainly are stage-managed within an inch of their lives.

So, anyway, my point should be, what a shallow bunch of morons modern society has become, doing a number over this woman because she's not marketably beautiful enough to have a career despite her phenomenal voice.  Acting genuinely surprised because they've judged, incorrectly, the book by its cover, and so have enabled this psychodrama to play out for the rest of the series. Should we be so surprised that someone can have a talent that consists of something other than being asthetically pleasing by accident and through no fault of their own? Yes, of course. It's the Western World. It's the 21st century. Damn ugly people. Should have been bred out by now. So unless you've got something else to offer, perhaps run an old-style kindergarten by fear for as long as you can, but otherwise get to the back of society's queue.

So rather, my point is, having seen clips and photos of Susan Boyle all year, I finally realised she reminds me of Dylan Moran, who could well play her in the biopic of her life. Well, what he really should have done was portray her in a running sketch on television for the last six months. Unfortunately, Moran is a brilliant stand-up comic who rose to fame winning a stand-up comedy competition. Not having had an education in boarding school followed by a stint in OxBridge university revue, he doesn't do a lot of satirical sketch work, particularly in drag as a 'pepperpot'.

Had I the time, the software and the motivation, I would have recut Boyle’s clip to feature Moran, before the  Britain's Got Talent audience and judges, with the original soundtrack, performing 'I Dreamed A Dream'. And maybe even Boyle, doing Moran's stand-up. Instead the best I can do is present Dylan Moran and Susan Boyle, respectively, side-by-side. "You'll laugh, you'll cry, it'll change your life!" – to quote a line from the first episode of Black Books.


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