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Bravery was once a meaningful trait… May 30, 2009

Posted by Matt Domm in TV.
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Apparently all you need to be brave in this millennium is the ability to fail, dust yourself off and start again.

Now, things I see on TV rarely make me think outside the hour it takes to actually watch a programme, but last night I did. Britain’s Got Talent was the show. It made me think of my poor ancestors who had fought and died for their country, only for it to reward them with ‘brave’ acts such as failing to sing a song first time around and fluking another shot at it.

Ok, the girl is ten years old, I get it, but wasn’t there a girl of six who was in the final a few years ago? I don’t remember her being brave for managing to sing her way through the contest without choking. I can see some people saying “but she got back up there and nailed it”, well, it was more uncomfortable than brave and the real heroes are the ITV producers willing to risk their ratings just so Hollie could get it right. Would there have been a third time? Would she have still got through? Would that have won her the George Cross, presented to her at the Royal Variety show? The answer to all three is; probably, yes, especially if Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden had their way. Dame Hollie Steel? Maybe, after  a fourth attempt… and what a fitting surname she has, though Hollie Braveheart would work as well.

Speaking of Piers Morgan, I think his exact words were: “That is the bravest thing I have ever seen.” Something like that anyway and if he is serious I will retract my opinion that the former News of the World editor is cultured. Surely he has seen, in his years, a more heroic act than that? I know I have, just last week I saw someone wearing orange and pink in the same outfit. Perhaps Piers is just confused and actually believes his claim that this show is the biggest in the world?

Growing up, I was fed the story of  St George, my national hero slaying a dragon, showing no fear to the ferocious beast. Perhaps for future generations the icon of all things brave will instead be a small child, in full ballerina attire wobbling her way through a song in a contest. Or perhaps simply a solitary Eidelweiss… Britain, for shame.