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Britain's got talent?

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It is one of the shows you watch for all the wrong reasons - it’s tacky and appeals to the British notion of making fun of people who dare to stick their heads above the parapet.
As with many people I was concerned about young Hollie Steel after she overcame her nerves in the semi-final.

But I feel the ongoing debate about whether children should be allowed to perform on the show is only tackling half the story.

Several other contestants were ill-equipped psychologically to deal with the sudden exposure and celebrity status - most obviously Susan Boyle.

Voting figures suggest that voters turned on Ms Boyle, a woman reported to have learning disabilities, following reports in the tabloids about her behaviour in the build-up to the final on Saturday night. Some of that behaviour seems to be the result of her being bullied by members of the public.

It is not clear how much psychological support Ms Boyle was receiving throughout her meteoric rise to fame, but it seems pretty clear that it wasn’t enough. At least the contestants on the forthcoming Big Brother are protected from the media while they are in the house, and have 24-hour access to psychological support.

Surely the debate should be about whether vulnerable people, be they children or adults with learning disabilities or mental health problems, really understand what they are consenting to when they sign up for BGT. Perhaps the media should be expected to obtain informed consent before providing emotional and psychological support for all contestants - after all some adults are vulnerable too.

Is it better for someone like Susan Boyle, a lady clearly ill-equipped for dealing with sudden fame, to remain at home dreaming the dream?

And have the show’s producers jeopardised her mental health by pushing her to sign record deals and perform in front of millions of people, on the television and internet?

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