My girl likes nothing better than a good TV talent show. Or even a bad TV talent show.
As a family we watch XFactor and Britain’s Got Talent. It’s not exactly a relaxing experience. The kids get over-excited and dance in front of the TV or start singing, drowning out the superior vocal efforts of the contestants. There’s a lot of shouting – a lot of ‘Sit down!’ ‘Move out of the way!’ ‘Rewind it, I didn’t hear that!’ and ‘PAUSE IT! I need the toilet!’
But while my sons are determined to disrupt and distract and spoil it for everyone, my daughter lives and loves every second of it. Every contestant is a real person to her. She talks about them as if they are friends. She remembers people who went out at Judge’s Houses two years ago, while I would struggle to tell you who won and who came second just a few months back.
And her absolute favourite thing is dance shows. Got To Dance. Let’s Dance for Sport Relief. Alesha’s Street Dance Stars. That one that’s on BBC1 sometimes with Cat Deeley, Arlene Philips and Nigel Lythgoe, whose name I can never remember…
She sees the connections in all these shows – a street crew that was on Alesha which is now on Got To Dance. The judging panel from Alesha which includes past contestants of both Got To Dance and that one with Cat Deeley…
Based on her extensive study of dance shows, Got To Dance is the best show and Ashley Banjo is the best judge. Opinion is divided as to whether Kimberley Wyatt or Adam Garcia is the second best judge. Neither of them are anywhere near as nice as Ashley, who is so much a part of our family he doesn’t even need a surname.
Her absolute favourite programme at the moment is not strictly a talent show, but it ticks all the boxes – dancing, real people and Ashley Banjo. Ashley’s Banjo’s Secret Street Crew.
She watches it so carefully and absorbs every word of the script, then repeats it back to us verbatim.
She suddenly says things in a very serious voice like: ‘They last hit the dancefloor in the 90s’. She is only just 6. I am fairly certain she really has no idea what ‘last hit the dancefloor in the 90s’ really means. But it is very important.
Her very favourite episode is about some role-playing geeks and her favourite geek is ‘Peter’. When she talks about ‘Peter’ he needs no explanation. It is Peter the geek off Ashley Banjo. Peter the geek who was kicking his friend in the park and got injured. Peter the geek who really misses his dead Grandma. And, most importantly, Peter the geek who didn’t even have the confidence to say ‘I am Peter’ out loud.
Explaining this particular scenario to my husband in the greatest detail – reciting all the role-players’ names and the exact tone of voice they used to say their names – my daughter demonstrated how Peter wouldn’t say his name out loud.
And then out of nowhere she concludes this long and detailed story by saying ‘Pe’er, whass the deal? I cu’dnt ‘ear you’ in a perfect male, cockney accent. A million miles from her own voice. Ashley Banjo’s voice.
And I haven’t stopped laughing since.
But maybe it’s time to step away from the TV talent shows and get back to the real world?