X Factor season is nearly upon us and for the first time in five years I won’t be working on the social media for the show.
I’d like to thank Robert Marsh, Audrey Lang, Peter Cassidy, Kat Hebden and James Cooper for inviting me back so many times… and what years they were.
So many wonderful, witty, talented and fascinating people to work with. And Cher Lloyd. How I’ll miss the production team. From the execs, presenters, finalists to the runners.
Special shout outs to:
Mark “Sid” Sidaway and Beth Hart. Their being so open to Social is what gave the show the head start to lead the way.
Ollie Knowles who will no doubt be Head Of Entertainment somewhere by 2016.
Tim Gethin. Gentlemanly genius and Creative Director of some of the most memorable moments in television history.
Dermot O’Leary… every bit the legend in person you hope he is.
Richard, the Head Of Security for keeping me safe and sound all the time.
You see, young social media types… way back in 2009 social media was a unknown quantity and Social Media Producers weren’t entirely welcome around TV shows. When trying to get a backstage pic the following exchange occurred:
SECURITY GUARD: Put that phone away NOW.
ME: I’m part of the team. I’m meant to be here.
SECURITY GUARD: No photos. That’s your last warning.
ME: This is my job. I’ve got a pass, look!
SECURITY GUARD: Put it this way, either I break your phone or I break your face.
I got the photo.
All you witty hipster Social Media marketing people from ThatLot.co.uk or Telegraph Hill or Karmarama or wherever… you’ll never have to front down a man the size of Mount Olympus with the muscles of a The Incredible Hulk just to get a shitty, almost-in-focus backstage pic of a stroppy looking Nicolo Festa on your iPhone 3.
I broke that ground for you.
You are all very, very welcome.
Those show’s Facebook and Twitter profiles are very special to me. Between 2009 and 2011 Robert Marsh, Audrey Lang and I built the biggest talent show social media accounts in the world together. I’m sure whoever inherits them now will do them justice.
Will I be following those accounts? Hell no. It’ll be too much like watching someone else raising your kids. You love them dearly, want them to thrive and flourish but still… it’s someone else raising your fucking kids.
That’s not to say there are any hard feelings whatsoever. After five demanding years, I finally get my weekends back and I’m already all the happier for it.
It was an absolute blast. Meeting Paul McCartney, Jedward, Joe McElderry, the One Direction lads, Little Mix. Stacey Solomon. Lucie Jones. Rachel Adedeji. Telling James Arthur not to reply to Frankie Boyle on Twitter…
So many amazing memories.
When I took the role on I really wanted to make my wife proud, the kids I was going to have proud, my brother, my sister, my mum, my dear old dad, the Costa Coffee team at London Victoria station, my mother-in-law, my two cats, a salad that I had in the fridge… I just wanted to do it for them.
It was a sorely-needed chance to shine at a time when my career was pretty much dead in the water. So, yes, in all seriousness The X Factor did change my life. I’ll always be very grateful for that.
So let’s not say “Adieu”, The X Factor… let’s just say “this isn’t the last you’ve seen of me.”*
Finally, special thanks to everyone who tweeted @TheXFactor before the account went supernova. It was an absolute riot.
*It probably is.