Kate Livingstone: We can’t all appear on talent shows

Kate Livingstone
Kate Livingstone

Have you been like me and found yourself engrossed in this year’s Britain’s Got Talent?

I don’t know why because it’s not something that I usually find entertaining and there are so many of these type of shows around that I’m slightly sceptical about how they ‘find’ all these would-be stars.

Sometimes it seems to be more for the parents than the child

Some of the acts are downright awful and really shouldn’t have been encouraged to make a fool of themselves on primetime television.

However, this year I’ve been making sure that I’m sitting down and ready to watch each evening.

Please note, that I don’t want any invitations out this Saturday as I’m going to have a front row seat for the final – in my living room.

Emma thinks it’s hilarious that I’m prattling on about a variety show like this. But I just remind her that when I was young Sunday Night at the London Palladium was considered compulsory viewing. It was a time when families of all ages sat down to watch TV – the black and white variety – and enjoy what my mum always labelled “good family entertainment”.

And Britain’s Got Talent is doing it’s bit to find a winning act which can take part in this year’s Royal Variety Show.

However, I worry when I see so many children getting into the later stages and worry about how they can handle the disappointment of not winning.

Sometimes I feel that the parents are encouraging their youngsters to take part in these things more for themselves than the child.

Whether it be acrobats, dancers, singers or musicians, there are certainly some pretty talented children out there but not all of them can be stars.

Pushy parents can be responsible for a lot of problems – and it’s not just in the field of entertainment.

Touchline mums and dads can be awful in a whole variety of sports.

I remember when Gary played football as a youngster it was quite embarrassing to watch some of the parents get so worked up about their child’s performance.

Whether it was the kid themself they were having a go at for not trying hard enough – by their standards – or the people who gave up their own free time to run these teams and they didn’t believe that they knew what they were doing, it was sometimes so bad some of us would walk round the other side of the pitch so people didn’t think we were part of the same group.

The most important thing about all these sorts of hobbies is that children, however, talented they may be, enjoy themselves.