Britain’s Got Talent is a UK TV programme that looks for talent. I only ever watched it once but won’t bother again. What I’m interested in is one of the judge’s recent comments – Piers Morgan – that Britain has talent but it’s so hard finding because we look in the wrong place.
This is true. But it is what kinds of talent the movers and shakers of our cultural world look for that is wrong. Inevitably, they want to make money, so they will always look for talent that reflects what is happening at that moment.
This ‘more of the same’ mentality cripples culture.
And it is made worse by allowing the public to vote for what they like. The whole point of true brilliance is that it is different, so how can the public know what this is at first? If they could, they would all be geniuses.
The problem is made worse by the ‘I want it now’ attitude, which creeps into business. Once was the time when a talent was found, and then nurtured, perhaps through many failures, knowing that the formula will be right in the end.
A classic case of this is the UK sitcom Only Fools and Horses. Initially, it failed repeatedly before catching on. Now, it’s a great classic of comedy.
So, Piers is maybe right. But maybe not for the right reasons.
© Anthony North, April 2008
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