IAN HART: Saturday TV ratings war

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THE Saturday night TV ratings war is well and truly underway, with ITV firing the opening salvo with the start of the X Factor a few weeks ago.

THE Saturday night TV ratings war is well and truly underway, with ITV firing the opening salvo with the start of the X Factor a few weeks ago.

For anyone on the planet who didn’t think the whole thing was staged, there’s a little bit of a giveaway this year with auditionees being filmed at their homes and on their way to the audition. What happened to turning up on spec?

On Sunday, we were treated to another Worthing contestant, Eddie String, real name Edward Wilkinson, who followed in the footsteps of the likes of Terry Winstanley and Ben Franco. I thought Ed was very entertaining, certainly charismatic, and had the crowd wanting more. Unfortunately, as with all these things he did not receive a totally positive local reaction on social networks, but that’s the great British trait, some do like to knock people merely out of jealousy.

Local rumours abound that he’s already equalled Terry Winstanley’s feat of last year and made it past bootcamp and onto the judge’s houses section, but in the best traditions of reality TV, we all wait with bated breath.

One aspect of the resulting press coverage that I didn’t like was that some of the tabloids described Ed as coming from Brighton rather than Worthing.

Obviously immediate comparisons are being made with last year’s X Factor bad boy Frankie Cocozza, who came from Woodingdean, something which Ed has been quick to play down, but is it a case of Brighton being a bit more rock ’n’ roll than sleepy old Worthing?

Sad if that is the case, perhaps the editors need to do their homework a bit because Worthing spawned perhaps one of the greatest ever bad boy rockers in the shape of William Broad, better known as Billy Idol.

• Staying with the outside perception of some that Worthing resembles Emmerdale and we all go round “high sixing” each other, next week at one of our local theatres we have one of our local societies putting on a production that’s come straight out of the West End.

The Worthing Musical Theatre Company puts on five performances of the Tony award-winning Broadway smash, Sweeney Todd, from Thursday afternoon, September 20. This is an exciting and ground-breaking production which I hope the local theatre-going public support in large numbers. Tickets are available on 01903 206206.

• And finally, on the subject of the Pavilion, it won’t be long before the clocks go back and we all start thinking about panto time.

The headline act at the Pav is a Mario Falcone. It’s not a name that jumps out at you in the same way as Timmy Mallet or Alvin Stardust but apparently he appears in a programme called TOWIE, which I understand is popular with the youngsters.