I recently had the opportunity to attend a Talent day run by Channel 4 in Lincoln. I took part in a presenting workshop and as a group we were given the task of vox-popping. For anyone that IS lucky enough to not know what this is, it consists of going out into the big bad world and asking the public their opinion on topics, asking them questions on events and well you guessed it, meeting some very EXTRAORDINARY people. I have only been doing this for a year and already, I have had my fair share of absolute weirdo’s and nutters. (I should have really passed on some of their names to a hospital or possibly the police)
After the recent series of Britain’s Got Talent, we decided to ask the public if they had a special talent. We should have known what we were putting ourselves into really! So this got me thinking, does Britain really have talent? How can a TV show filled with so called fame-whores determine whether Britain has talent?
To me, talent is something that the few and far between can do. Something that makes you stop eating your Krispy Kreme doughnut and exclaim OH MY GOD as jam and sugar is swirled around in your mouth. Talent is not a man who puts a drill through his nose (Courtesy of Britain’s got talent 2009) and talent certainly isn’t another little girl who can sing a Whitney Houston ballad or a group of teens from an under privileged estate who can all come together and dance through their emotions (courtesy of Britain’s got talent, EVERY SINGLE YEAR).
So whilst walking through Lincoln, speaking to the general lunatics (I mean public), we came across various ‘talents’. One man boasted how he could down a bottle of vodka in 1 hour, one man claimed to be a 70’s karaoke heart throb, whilst one boy explained that he could smoke through his nose and then proceeded to show us (I felt violated). As well as these fantastic talents that wowed me but all for the wrong reasons, there are the usual people wearing clothes that scream ‘DON’T LOOK AT ME’ who simply say, ‘Me, oh I haven’t got a talent’, and then continue to giggle and look at the floor. Even when asked my talent I laughed and went ‘Oh yeah, I’ve got a double jointed hip’ (which I have) BUT come on, that’s not a talent… that’s a deformed body. You certainly wouldn’t win a talent show, just by popping your hip out! (Well you might in Lincoln, as the rest of the candidates were poor.)
I think the real definition of talent has been lost because of programmes like Britain’s Got Talent and also they have to be blamed for giving people a false sense of hope. I’m all for following your dream and working hard but come on, seriously some people just need to stop. Being able to burp the alphabet or swallowing Amanda Holden’s engagement ring is just not talent. (Which might I add, has been done sooooo many times. Find a new trick.)
Okay, rant over. Breathe.