Friday, December 01, 2006


Christmas is coming, the goose is getting stuffed to bursting point, and across the nation X-Factor fever reaches fever pitch.


The winner is certain to get the Christmas number one on the hit parade, following such gargantuan stars as (quite literally) Big Michelle and (not literally) Satanic Steve Brookstein, with at least five weeks of promotional work on GMTV and mentions in the London Lite gossip pages to look forward to, plus an appearance on Celebrity Fat Club in 2012 pencilled in!

Who are this year's X-Factor big cheeses? Let's have a look at the final countdown!


They said it couldn't be done - but it could.

The Coronation Street twins are re-united at long last, through a love of music.

Older readers may recall them being The Street's Joe Bloggs-clad teen *tearaways* who once tried to liberate tha kidz of Weatherfield with their own pirate radio station, Radio Free Weatherfield, where they bravely spun records by Northside and MC Tunes to cobbled streets full of marauding drug crazed Madchester psychopaths for at least three hours.

Then their dad Jim put a stop to it all by marching into their bedroom and saying "are yoose pair BUCK STUPID or what? What if the police faind oyt? You'll be doing a spell in the big hoyse then, so ye will".

... anyway, after years of "travelling around the world" Andy, the plain looking one, is back to accompany balding "brother" Steve "in a music marriage made in heaven" (in their words).

Seen as a joke in the earlier weeks of X-Factor, especially by Simon Cowell, the twins have won judges and audiences alike over with their renditions of that song More Than Words (who was it by? Ugly Kid Joe or someone? I dunno.) and Nights In White Satin. Andy's tasteful acoustic guitar work and Steve's plaintive vocals could make inroads into the James Blunt/James Morrison market!


Frail, eccentric Jan has taken audiences on an emotional rollercoaster over the past forty weeks. However, there's a dazzling, eccentric, Bjork or Joanna Newsom style talent in the kooky up-and-down-the-scales vocals and quirky accordian playing, if you want to look for it, and if that's your sort of thing. It isn't mine, so I won't be voting for her.


Barry, a 22 stone security guard from Aldershot, is seen as the people's favourite, a big guy with a big personality and a huge voice which booms to the back of the auditorium. He says his favourite singers are "that bloke off of The Commitments", Frank Sinatra (whom he describes as "simply the guvnor, mate") and Vinnie Jones. He's wowed us all belting out Long Tall Sally, Mustang Sally and In The Midnight Hour, but showed us he has a more understated touch with a masterful performance of The Best Is Yet To Come. Is he the new Vinnie Jones, or the new Michael Buble? Only you, the voter, can decide!

Oooh, I'm getting all excited now!

Tags: Northside, Big Michelle Off Of The X-Factor, Vinnie Jones, Fat Blokes.

I haven't watched telly since the mid-seventies. Thanks for reminding me why, young Betty.
Excellent Elizabeth, so it is nye.

I'm very proud to admit I've not seen any XF at all. Jungle, yes. Love it. Missed it last night though. Is *cough* Myleene still in?

(your word verification is impossible, have a word)
Dive - well, I hate to tell you, but Muffin The Mule isn't on any more, and, unfortunately, Gilbert Harding collapsed and died on the steps of Broadcasting House.

I hope that hasn't upset you too much.

More use of the expression "young" Betty though. I like that one.

Richard - I don't actually watch X-Factor or I'm Dean Gaffney In The Jungle, I just go by the stuff you can't avoid on other telly shows or in the papers. Oh, and the bits that my mother-in-law insists on watching of the latter when we're around there on a Thursday night.

Thanks for putting that in my head. Serves me right for being on The Internet of a Friday Night instead of having a life I suppose.
Northside, they ring a bell...they had a song called "Shining Star" or something, didn't they?

Good on you for championing fat folk.
Beth - yeah, it wuz Extreme wot done the song. Not very Extreme, were they? About as extreme as a band called Bolivian Death Squad doing a version of Abba's Fernando accompanied by some harp playing.

Istvanski - they did a song called Shining Star (I think it's on the Myspace, but I couldn't be bothered to check, being a lazyarse). Plus that one that began "Elle ... Esss ... Deee".

There will be more fat on this blog. Less lean efficiency, more mounds of slobbering lard.
This isn't the Jan Leeming I used to know. Distressing; like Valerie Singleton being a pole dancer.
I like the way that someone who was kind of respected for being straight and dull, is now slagged off continuously. I salute you Jan!

What a way to end your career.

You'll be pleased to know that I didn't venture out into the throng of happy shoppers today. I sulked instead. It was great. Most under-rated is sulking. And I've got earache. That means I can sulk well into the evening as well. Yay!

Hope you are having a good weekend Bettsterxx
Leave your word verif on Bettyster, you might get even *more* comments from people like me if you switch it off. Eek! :)
Not having actually seen the televisual feasts in question I do however find myself strangely drawn towards Barry LEGGY Legge.
Is there any possibility that a man of this caliber might replace Tony Blair?
22 stone..
so how tall would he when measured in rods?
Arabella - you're probably not aware of Val's appearance on the Channel Five Show Strictly Lapdancing. Or John Noakes' appearance on the Sky One programme Strictly Naturism. Shudder.

Molly - I think there was always a flakiness to Jan Leeming. Her hairstyles used to change drastically from one day of newscasting to the next. Besides, she had that funny turn live on air when a light exploded in the studio.

Sorry about the earache. I thought I had got a serious inner ear infection about a week ago but, er, it went away.

Christmas shopping and those crowds of tortured looking shoppers - don't do it. Until you have to, that is.

H.E. - I'd certainly like to see a man with an enormous gut as Prime Minister, but unfortunately people seem to want party leaders who look as if they could run a marathon these days, as if that will make the economy run better. Huh.

Barry isn't a particularly tall man. For his weight, he should really be about eleven feet tall, but in reality he's five foot eight. He, er, has a huge personality though.
Last year's final was memorable for Kate Thornton's consoling comments to the runner up "You may only be a dustman but you've come a long way...".

I stopped watching after that.

It's only a matter of time before "I'm a Politician, Get me out of here" replaces democracy anyway, and it might be more entertaining.
Ah, Northside. "Never gonna guess what time it is, never gonna guess what time it is, take five."

Not one of 'Madchester's' finest moments.

Remember when Steve McDonald was a teen pin-up?

1990 was a pretty dark period, now that I think about it...
Murphmeister - perhaps the Cabinet could be replaced by singing dustmen in a reality show job swap kind of way for six months. We probably wouldn't be able to notice the difference actually. I draw the line at Kate Thornton being Prime Minister.

Spinsterella - yeah, Steve McDonald was considered to be a bit of a pin up. Ah, purple, disgustingly patterned Joe Bloggs hoodies - now there's a look which is overdue for a revival, eh?
Do you think maybe we could put some kind of radioactive poison on the X Factor winner's CD single? Just a thought...
Thank you Betty for this succinct guide to the candidates in X factor. Not having found the time to watch any of it as yet, it has become a bit of a worry to me working out who I should vote for.
I do after all have the vote, and to be fair, if I don't use it, not only is it irresponsible, showing a total disregard for all those people in history who fought for this right, it also means I forfeit my right to complain about who wins.
Del - I think a street mob should be let loose on the winner, the plant where the CDs are produced should be blown up, and then we should go for the jugular: Simon Cowell should be poisoned with polonium-210.

Does anybody know if he frequents any sushi bars in London?

Tom - this is a democracy! Think of the millions of people who have died to allow you to have so much freedom in this great great Great Britain! We HAVE to use our vote in The X-Factor!

Apparently there is someone called Ray left in it, but the McDonald brothers have been booted out. I found this out from the mother-in-law yesterday.
Um, no - what was I thinking?!

Of course, I meant to say ...

Ooh, I've just noticed on the Northside MySpace that they're playing at the Bar Academy in Islington on December 16th! Potential poncey London blogmeet coming up! "Sing LSD"!


(please note use of irony)
Betty, I've just gone on a Northside-inspired you-tube-trek...



Spirea X

Christ Almighty, I listened to all that shit when I was young. Makes me thing that maybe Bloc Party aren't that bad after all.
Spinsterella - I'm impressed by your then-devotion to wilfully obscure but shite music. Mind you, what is youth for except to have a devotion to wilfully obscure but shite music?

Ahh, Bloc Party, the exciting new sound of February 2005. Sometimes I'm glad I'm too old to read the NME. Indeed, I'm too old to hear music now because of deafness. Yippee!
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