Saturday night and the negotiations begin. Apparently, sitting through Strictly Come Dancing and the X-Factor is a fair trade for half of Harry Hill and most of Have I Got News For You. Clearly, my haggling skills need some work.

I have a number of issues with X-Factor. In simple terms, I loathe, hate, detest and despise it and everything it represents. Music is important to me. Of all the art forms, it’s the one I understand best – the one that speaks to me most, the variety of expression I most aspire to. X-factor is like an amateur chef trying to recreate a cordon bleu meal using a cheap supermarket’s version of the ingredients. Sort of the same but without the subtlety or the originality. Nothing too exotic or spicy, all the interesting touches removed, everything bland and uniform. In the end, instead of chilli con carne, you just get a load of mince*.

But what bothers me most is how easily you get sucked into it. Frou-Frou for some unfathomable reason, loves it which means I end up watching it too. For the first few episodes, I remain cynical and grouchy and spend the whole time bitching about how poor the singing is, how inane the comments are, how deluded the contestants are. A few months down the line, and i’m comparing performances, rating chances and ranting about outrageously unfair decisions.

I hope that for the majority of its viewers the same is true, that they’ve lost sight of the fact that the singing is dull, the arrangements mediocre and the whole thing is a massive excuse for Simon Cowell to promote his cash cows purely because they’ve become used to it. But I suspect that, as per usual I’m just playing along a little bit out of tune and behind the beat.

*With a nod towards one of my FAVOURITE poems