A former contestant from Britain’s Got Talent is suing judge Simon Cowell after claiming she was humiliated and degraded on the show.
Now I don’t watch the programme, which probably deserves a prize for the most misleading name in television. But I do know that Cowell loves to criticise and insult. It’s how he made his name, and his abrasive style has made him both a household name and very rich indeed.
So what exactly did Emma Amelia Pearl Czikai expect from Cowell when she auditioned for the show? Applause? Constructive criticism?
Ms Czikai, a 54-year-old former nurse from Sutton Coldfield (as the tabloids would no doubt describe her) sang the power ballad You Raise Me Up. Cowell hit the Reject button before she had even got through the first line, as did Piers Morgan. Amanda Holden was a little more restrained and waited until the chorus before she too hit the button.
The singer told the judges that she believed the backing track was too loud when she performed – and that she was not used to the microphone provided. Cowell had a different explanation.
“Emma, Emma, reality check here, it’s not the music; it’s not the microphone; it’s you,” he told her.
A pre-trail review yesterday heard that Czikai is seeking £300,000 for injured feelings, compensation of £1m and loss of earnings of £1.25m. She said if she was awarded any money it would go to charity.
So will this be a new growth area for the British legal industry?
What next? Will we see reviewers being sued for panning a performance? Sports commentators in court for criticising a player’s mistakes. Or politicians claiming that journalists are nasty to them?
Where will it all end?