Saturday, 4 June 2011

Britain's Got Talent

Knitwits Yarns

Tonight is the final of Britain's Got Talent so I think now is a good time to tell of our trip to Liverpool earlier this year - remember this?:

and this?:

and this?:

well - yup - this was all done for BGT. We were invited onto the show just before Christmas (Tracey took the call and came up with the classic, "Julia - it's Britain's Got Talent on the phone - and I'm not joking"!) and these photos were taken in the [freezing cold] school gym over the Christmas holidays when we knitted up the huge piece in Help For Heroes colours.

We travelled up to Liverpool in January and spent the most extraordinary, interesting, exhausting and, ultimately, humiliating day of our lives being filmed. All of which, it appears now, ended up on the cutting room floor which, I guess, is always the risk.

When they say these programmes are manufactured, I now understand what they mean. You start off with a plan of what you want to do and, by the time you get onto the stage, you find yourself doing exactly what they want you to do and you've been there so long and you're so exhausted by this stage you just do it for your five seconds of TV time which may, or may not, come. It was absolutely fascinating to see how these programmes are made and, if that last sentence makes me sound bitter, I'm not - cynical, yes - bitter, no!

When I finally made it onto the stage, I was asked what I did (by Amanda) and when I said "I knit" 2,000 audience members, in unison, shouted, "OFF, OFF, OFF, OFF ................". I think even the judges were taken aback and David Hasselhoff actually turned to the audience and told them to "give me a break". Sadly, from then on I stood no chance but it's really interesting to think of such an aggressive and unpleasant response to such an innocent past-time as knitting!!

Having regularly knitted in public with the giant needles I was really amazed by the reaction as previously I've always had such a positive response - people usually stand back with their mouths gawping and the usual comment is, "watch out you don't drop a stitch"! Sadly the Liverpool audience weren't so discerning but I do wonder now how much of that response was manufactured as well. If you watch some YouTube videos the audience are definitely primed to shout "Off, Off, Off" at times. (FB has been doing his research!)

So we came home having learnt a lot and (for me in particular) having been through the most humiliating experience of my life and waited to see what happened as the memories (thankfully) started to fade.

In the very first episode on TV, right at the beginning, there's a tiny clip of me saying, "knitting is a talent" and that's it! We actually had Ant and Dec holding the needles whilst I was knitting (and being shouted at!) and, sadly, there are no photos of this (cameras weren't allowed) but I suspect this may be why we ended up on the cutting room floor. Perhaps Ant and Dec's "people" didn't want them being shown holding unfeasibly large knitting needles whilst the audience yelled, off, off, off!! or perhaps they didn't want the piece as it was in H4H colours or perhaps I was just really, really bad(!) - whatever the reason, we were cut out.

Having been invited up there and having discussed exactly what we were knitting and having agreed who would hold the needles, all in advance, and having spent quite a lot in wool and getting there I can't decide whether to be relieved or annoyed!

Never again!

1 comment:

  1. Well done Julia - console yourself with the fact that they wouldn't know 'talent' if it hit them in the face!
    There are loads of us knitters who think what you do (by that I mean ALL that you driving mini buses round far flung parts of the country )is amazing. You are an inspiration!!