Yet Another Letter from Mrs Womble

Once again we find ourselves the unintended recipients of a missive from the formidable Mrs Edna Womble. This time there seems to have been a mix up over a talent show.

Dear Mr Cowell

I hope this letter finds you well, although I have to tell you that as I write I am far from happy myself. My problem concerns a series of unfortunate events which took place at an audition for your top TV programme, Britain's Got Talented Singers. I have to say we were all quite excited to learn that your show was coming to our neck of the woods, particularly since our family is blessed with someone whose abilities as an entertainer are renowned in our neighbourhood. Indeed, his fame extends as far as the local laundromat, where he can frequently be found exhibiting himself to the passing public on a Friday night, after the youth club has finished.

I speak, of course, of my nephew and it was with no little pride that last Tuesday I escorted him along to your chosen venue, the Assembly Rooms in Market Street. Obviously, I had phoned ahead to let you know that he was on his way. I was unable to speak to you personally - I appreciate that you must have been busy doing your hair or choosing trousers or something. Instead I got through to someone called 'reception', which I assume is a code word for your personal assistant. This gentlemen responded to my instructions with a series of grunts which at the time I assumed signalled his understanding. But oh no, clearly not.

On arrival it became horribly apparent that we were not expected and rather than being whisked through the VIP entrance we were instead invited to queue up with all the other 'hopefuls'. What followed was a four hour wait in the company of various persons of somewhat questionable abilities: pale, pimply youths clutching guitars, middle-aged crooners in sweat-stained satin shirts, teenage girls with too little clothing and too much makeup, fat jugglers, shabby conjurors, annoying children and a gentlemen not too many years short of eighty who did something frightful with three balloons and a tin of furniture polish. Had my nephew not been the consummate professional that he is, this experience may very well have unsettled him. As it is, we are prepared to accept that this was down to a breakdown in communications and trust that it will not be repeated when he is a star.

Having endured these diverse indignities, it eventually came down to our turn and we were led through to the performance 'space', as I believe you showbiz people like to call it. Naturally, I accompanied my nephew, despite the advice of a bony young girl with a clipboard who tried to persuade me otherwise.

I have to say, it's not at all like it is on the telly, is it? For a start, there was no stage, as such - just a small room with a grotty brown carpet and wonky looking furniture. No lights, no curtains, no set and no Ant and Dec. I suppose you put all that on afterwards using CGI, yes? Anyway, there the three of you were, sat in front of us. I don't know which one was you - you all look very different in real life, don't you? Obviously you weren't the young woman who was constantly on the phone - although I noted that my nephew was quite taken by her, if his dreamy-eyed expression was anything to go by. And I don't think you were the balding man in the Iron Maiden t-shirt, eating crisps. So I guess you were the bored-looking elderly fellow, picking his nose.

Anyway, following a preliminary chat you invited my nephew to begin. I, of course, am no stranger to his work, but I have to be honest and say that I believe this was the finest performance that he had ever given. If I might jog your memory, his act consists of whistling a medley of songs by the composer and broadcaster Mr Howard Goodall, famous for many TV sitcom theme tunes. Beginning with the theme from Red Dwarf, the routine then explores a choral riff from The Vicar of Dibley, before proceeding to audience favourite Blackadder then finally bowing out with the jingle from the advert. I don't believe that this last piece is actually one of Mr Goodall's compositions, but it provides a suitable finale to the set and always brings the house down when my nephew does it at the miners' welfare on Saturday nights. I stood up and applauded loudly, as I'm sure you remember. Or perhaps you don't, since you were evidently unmoved by the performance and far more absorbed in what you had recently excavated from your left nostril as you waved us away with a mumbled 'no thank you' and called for the next act.

Oh Mr Cowell! Would you have treated Unglebert Humperkink in such a fashion? Would you have waved Keith Harris and Orville away without so much as a by-your-leave? Can you not see star quality when it is paraded in front of your very eyes? I was shocked to the point of speechlessness by your rejection and such was my rage that I could do nothing but storm out of the room, returning only to collect my nephew who was trying to attract your young colleague's attention by licking her face - an action which did little to divert her from the phone conversation which continued to hold her attention throughout.

Time has passed, my anger is diminished and I am prepared to overlook this snub as a misunderstanding. I hope that you too have had time to reconsider and have seen that there is indeed a place within the current showbiz pantheon for a young man who can whistle television theme tunes non-stop for up to twelve minutes. I await the opportunity to discuss the details of his contract at your earliest opportunity.

Yours Sincerely

Mrs Edna Womble

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