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A Man of Yet a Few More Words - by Swan Morrison

Britain's Got Talent

The Director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
16, Clerkenwell Green
London, EC1R OQT

The Production Team
Britain's Got Talent
The London Television Centre
Upper Ground
London, SE1 9LT

Dear Director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,

Thank you for the application for your orchestra to audition for the UK television programme, Britain’s Got Talent.

I have discussed your request with Piers, Amanda and Simon, but regretfully we cannot include the RPO in our competition.

We fully accept the assertion in your letter that the RPO is one of the finest orchestras in Britain and that each of its members is an exceptionally talented virtuoso musician. This, however, epitomises the problem we have in selecting acts for the auditions.

There is a tremendous amount of talent in Britain. Every street in every town contains singers, musicians and other entertainers in abundance, many of whom bear comparison with the best that we see on our TV screens. The sole difference between these performers and those who have become part of the entertainment industry is simply that they have chosen to follow an alternative career path.

There is certainly room in each series for four or five such acts, as we must have some good performances in the final and, of course, one excellent act to appear before Her Majesty. Good audience ratings, however, are contingent upon most acts being publicly ridiculed by the judges and audiences being able to savour this humiliation from the comfort of their sofas. We thus have a target that 99 per cent of those auditioned must exhibit no talent whatsoever and preferably attempt a bizarre, embarrassing and potentially dangerous stunt.

This target might appear simple to achieve, as among a population of 60 million there are many whose talents are not in the direction of entertainment. Unfortunately, nearly all of those people realise their lack of aptitude for the stage and do not enter the competition. It has proven extraordinarily difficult to locate people who not only lack talent but, due to some aberration of mind or brain, are unable to recognise the fact.

During the early series of Britain’s Got Talent, we came to realise that there were only a handful of such individuals in the whole of the British Isles. Indeed, the production team are becoming increasing concerned that most of these have now performed on BGT, and there may be too few remaining to sustain another series.

I hope you will now appreciate why we cannot accept further applications from the talented majority, and particularly not from performers in the class of the RPO.

We have come up with a plan, however, which may address both the unfortunate need to reject so much talent and also generate enough cringingly diabolical performances to televise and ensure the future of the show. We are proposing that talented applicants audition for the show, but not with an act that utilises their skills. Some of your musicians, for example, may have dogs. Perhaps some of those animals can bark or roll over or similar to create a third-rate dog act.

Feel free to let your imagination and those of your performers roam free. For example, we recently received an application from the Royal Shakespeare Company. Although we obviously cannot accept any performances by them that employ acting, we have suggested that some of their number might wish to jump naked through burning hoops.

We hope we might hear from you with similar such alternative acts.

Yours sincerely,

Production Team
Britain’s Got Talent.