X Factor goes from packing a punch to a backside licking bunch.

Maybe he's nice so he doesn't draw attention to this thumb. Argh!

OK I am onto Cowell and his dirty tricks now. I taped the X factor and sadly got myself all geared up, with hangover attachment, to slump on the sofa and watch it on Sunday.

For the first time in the history of the program I found I was losing interest. Oh My God.  Had I developed a fever? Was I sickening for something? Had I suddenly grown up? Well no to all 3 of the above.

It  just suddenly dawned on me Simon, Louis , Cheryl and Danni are just being gushingly nice about everyone now. Every artist or group is getting the thumbs up! The ‘yup that’s a hit record’, ‘I think we’ve found ourselves a new superstar!’ ‘That is what I call a great recording voice’.

Judging on the criteria of past years how on earth did the following get through?

Remind you of anyone?

Diva Fever !  aka  talent free Wham jump-a-likes.

Demis or Wagner

And Wagner??Argh. At least he has answered the question long on my lips – whatever happened to Demis Roussos?

The rumour is that him and the fabulous Mary are developing a mutual crush in which case keep him in – to keep her happy but not as a serious recording artist.

Storm Lee – originally from Edinburgh -I should love him for that alone but I don’t and it is nothing personal it’s just that if his big break hasn’t happened yet,   it just isn’t going to and to continue to lead him along this fruitless path is just cruel.

Simons power and celebrity has come from the fact, despite others pussy footing around,  he would always used to stand up to be counted and say ‘that was awful go home and get on with your life ‘.

But now he is as innocuous as the others all smiles, applause and empty praise.

The reason?

Well it’s the downloads innit? No-one is going to download a song from a person Cowell says is a bleedin’ disaster and the more he encourages the useless and sad the more downloads will come his way and at 99p a download it is just another cynical way to bolster his coffers..

Loadsa Money or Simon Cowell?

He is not standing up to be counted. He is too busy counting his money.

If there ever was an integrity to The X Factor or more specifically Simon Cowell it was that he called a spade a spade. Those days are gone and with it , I predict a large percentage of the X Factor audience.

We may be daft but we’re not that daft.

Said my piece off to google Stricly Come Dancing. Is it too late to switch? I hope not.

Sunshine in Leith, haggis and a sore head.

Actually my eyes were a lot worse than this

Yup it’s that Sunday morning feeling. Tongue stuck to the roof of the mouth, eyes like a lab rats, body shaken and stirred and not in a James Bond sort of way. Yuck.

The lovely BB

There is an unwritten rule when I get together with old pals for the first time in ages – we go berserk. So last night Marie & John were over from Luxembourg, Gordon & Rachel was down from Aberdeen, Ann Smith – starring in Sunshine in Leith with Billy Boyd, who is based in London appeared later as the production is in Edinburgh this week – it’s off to Aberdeen tomorrow go and see it if you are up in the area it is bloody brilliant!. Fiona Duff, PR guru and wild woman of Wonga with her husband the lovely Callum, and various others too but….the thing is this. Marie, Dynamite, Ann, Gordon,  Fiona and I all used to share a house in London in the 80’s and so seldom end up in the same place at the same time this was very much a case of light blue touch paper and retire.

Starting at 6pm in the house with a couple before meeting at The West Room at 7.30 for the official commencement of the binge drinking. We congregated amongst shouts of ‘ What are you having?’ ‘Hello what would you like?’ Fancy another’ and fitted about as much booze into 60 minutes as possible, leaving not a drop in any glass as we careered out of there towards Howies Cellar in Alva Street for 8.30.

My dear long suffering husband started Howies and sold the business about 3 years ago which I thought I would say before I say what I am about to say so you know there is not a whiff of nepotism or insider dealing going on but… we had a great meal. We did. Set price £15 a head the grub kept coming. Black pudding with tomato, calamaris, haggis spring rolls which in all honesty I wasn’t

Ann Smith singing in Howies rapt we were. Rapt.

mad about, mushrooms in a creamy sauce, chips, fish cakes, roast vegetables we really got our moneys worth and then the booze. Yup £15 a head for the food and £20 a head for the drink. There was tons of the stuff. As we laughed, and face stuffed then Ann Smith arrived hot from the stage of the Kings Theatre and sang Sunshine on Leith – as you can see from the photograph there wasn’t a dry seat – sorry eye – in the house.

OMG! Look at his thumb! WEIRD

At 12.30 we left, full of …well everything. The second we got home we put on the X factor …..and fell asleep. Can’t wait to see it…waiting for the others to wake up it’s 10.51am Sunday., I can’t put on the radio, read the papers or turn on the telly in case I see any chat about it. So am off to give them a cup of tea and tell them dressing gown son, downstairs NOW, Simon, Cheryl, Louis & nurofen await.

Have a great day!

Alison x

Labradoodle love

 Am scarificing a night of X factor watching for fun, sun and friends.  Squite nice to have a life. Though I have called teenwolf and insisted he Sky Plus the whole jing bang. So I am off line until tomorrow night when I see it in it’s entireity as the chat online will blow the gaff no doubt about it.

In Loch Carron for a few days, back home tomorrow but today it is glorious hot, sunshine – I mean like 21 degrees hot. Have been to Attadale Gardens, nipped into see a litter of lab puppies at the Invercarron Hotel – didn’t take one but fair enjoyed squirming the chubby puppies around for a while. Then sitting out in the sun eating beef and dumpings with a glass of vino collapso.

The house I’m staying in has more dogs than humans. My ideal ratio.

2 labradors – Sam – my half dog half wit and Shuggy a large waggy boy dog.

2 Jack Russells – Cocoa and Pippa

5 Spaniels – black and white all except 1 which is pure black and silky cute.

Yeh OK dog mad. It’s a fact. But over and above that lot check this wee darling out.

Maisie and Bush - not George this one has a higher IQ

Yup nipping over to see pals in Helensburgh I was boweld over with instant love for their new wee labradoodle Maisie. Maisie Fantasie – you can see why. They don’t cast, they love a cuddle and are as gentle as can be. Swoon. I have secreted several Bonios in my handbag in the hope she slips in accidentally on purpose.


Simon Cowell told ‘It’s over’.

Higher Higher!

It’s all over between Simon Cowell and I.

I forgave him his high trousered nonsense.

His obviously waxed ‘top of the chest into the neck’ area.

The aviator specs that were just a tad too reminiscent of Tom Cruise in Top Gun.

I can see your house from here

Even his insistence in hanging out with Sinitta – beautiful, yet talentless woman who, as far as I can recall ,only ever had one hit and it was called Big Red GTO. GTO? Suggestions please?

Gutwrenching Toe-curling Offal?

Anyhew…..as I watched the X factor unfurl on Saturday night pinned to the lounge carpet with a bag of crisps and a glass – nae bottle – of wine. It

A good baddie. As opposed to a bad goodie.

was like going to The Kings Theatre to see Grant Stott as the baddie in the Panto. I ended up shouting Sssssssssssssssssssssssssss! Everytime Simon came on screen.

It was just too damn obvious.

First, each category booted out someone who should have stayed in.

If you are a man here's a tip. If you walk around like this you look like a pillock.

Second the music rose to a crescendo as the damaged and near skeletal girls sobbed as the pressure of the whole thing became too much. I mean how could that be? After all one of them was 16 years old and all of 7 stone – pull yourself together? Em no go home, have a meal, a hot bath, read a book and lead your life. It is too disfunctional to face. I felt myself reaching for the remote.

So today it’s reported Gamu and her family are to be refused their visa and will have to leave the country. Simon protects himself and his show so much do you not think he knew there was a question over the visa? Nothing is left to chance when it comes to the power of that show. I know my Aunt had to sign reams of paper and all she did was audition for Britains Got Talent. (no she is not in Flawless)

So when, not if, one of these wee souls has a breakdown or worse, to even watch it at this stage made me feel like a co-conspirator. An exploitative baddie.

So the papers are full of ‘the twist’. It’s no twist it is just twisted. Planned and executed perfectly to be talked

Simon bravely dealing with Cheryl's wind. So she's not perfect.

about, covered in the newspapers, on radio, on television and yup folk like me on blogs. It worked he has done it again. Hookwinked the lot of us. But, and I know he will find it hard to go on after I drop this bombshell. It is over between us. I cannot respect a man who has so little respect for these misguided, impressionable youngsters. Sorry Simon. The invitation to come for Christmas is resinded. I am off to see a good baddie  – Grant Stott the nicest baddie in town.

Cat fight Ahoy! X Factor news to fill you heart with joy.

Hypocrite is a word that I am prepared to have bandied around at me as I make it quite clear how much I hate Big Brother 134 – last night when the latest yawningly long series came to it’s undoubtedly hysterical conclusion I raised a glass of absinthe and thought. Thank **** for that. Too many hours on terrestrial TV taken up with the sort of scenes you can witness up Lothian Road on a Saturday night. The young self-obsessed wannabes in an enclosure for the bored public to gaze upon. Next year just round them up, stuff them in a horse box and take them round the shows. The Highland Show Big Brother tent – animals with two legs.

So here comes the hypocrisy. I love the X factor. On Saturday night as I was out having a life my inner self wanted to rush home and watch the first episode but I held off knowing the moment when I could lie on the couch,with remote revelling in the X Factor and all it’s glory would be mine for the taking. Seeing what Cheryl is wearing, finding Simon strangely attractive and wondering when Louis is going to come out, as a Leprechaun is golden time. Add to that the ability to fast forward through the ads * which allows the  momentum of bitchery and camp emotion to rise to a crescendo.

So the rumour Sharon Osbourne is coming back as Louis’s helper to decide who goes through to his boot camp fills me with joy. I love her. I love her candour, her surgically enhanced smile, her wit and the fact she will make Louis seem like a Primary 1 child who needs to go to the loo but is afraid to put his hand up and ask the teacher so chooses to wet his pants instead will make it must see TV.

Add to that the fact when being interviewed on Piers Morgan’s chat show if she and Danni hate each other – the ill disguised answer was YES. More under currents of bitchery and back stage disgruntlement ahoy.

Mind you Sharon don’t piss Cheryl off – she was done for allegedly whapping some woman with her handbag years ago – in fact she looked like she might give Geri Halliwell the benefit of her handbag on Saturday night when she wouldn’t shut up, God she just went on and on and on and on …..Cheryl and Sharon cut from the same cloth I reckon this is gonna be great.

Saturday nights alright for fighting not just a song, a way of life. Bring it on.

(*stats today show over 80% of viewers don’t watch the ads – if you see a white faced troll wandering aimlessly it will the boss of the local ad agency – this is not good news for the industry – they should advertise on blogs like this one then shouldn’t they?)

X-Pletive Factor



 My pal’s husband was playing golf on Saturday at Archerfield in East Lothian. She’s not a golfer so had arranged to meet him for lunch at the golf club afterwards. On arrival she got herself a drink and sat staring into space waiting for him to arrive. As she did so she spotted a Ronan Keating look-alike. This happens a lot in her head – she is a die hard Boyzone fan. It was this point her husband drew up a chair and with her eyes boring into this poor unfortunate she said ‘God doesn’t he look like Ronan Keating’ whilst snorkling into her gin and tonic. ‘Oh That is Ronan Keating.’ he said calmly as she brought most of the gin out through her nose. It seems he was there raising money for Breast Cancer with Ian Botham and various other well kent faces. Her husband barely noticed – unlike Helen who is still there on the off chance he comes back.



 Proof that pal Anne did Gorilla run in London at the weekend. They had to pick their own acvcessories so they could distinguish one from the other. I think the saltire is very fetching. She did it, survived and then went on an all day bender during which she left her handbag in someones house so she borrowed a tenner from a pal and spent the rest of the night rushing from party to party with nothing but a make-up bag cobbled together rfor emergency gorilla facial issues and a change purse. She ended up at someones 21st which thanks to the suit no-one guessed she was in fact 40 something until due to heat exhaustion she had to take th head off and throw another drink down her hairy throat. What fun. She flew home on Sunday waking up with her head on the shoulder of the man next to her and a dry throat, proof positive she had been snoring since take-off. Stylish.


Chained to my desk today by mid-day going MAD, I always have the radio on and flick from channel to channel but today I was listening to pal Darren Adam interviewing American singer, Idina Menzel, star of “Wicked” on Broadway/West End who has a new album out.It was a great chat and all going swimmingly until he asked ‘what music do you listen to, to pleasure yourself?’ I spat my coffee out as he realised what he had said and burst out laughing. Clearly he had meant to ask ‘what music do you listen to for pleasure’. He giggled for the next few minutes as I did until the singer got a grip but I daresay she will dine out on that one for a while. I would.



Doing some events for Spinal Injuries Scotland so have a lunchtime meeting today at Chez Pierres in Edinburgh. For £6 each we have salad, a snacky thing, maincourse, sweet and coffe and it is delicious. I am moving in. Pierre himself was in the kitchen and during the credit crunch he will do well and deserves to what amazing value.

I have flogged my gas guzzler and am now the proud owner of a deisel golf – yes my carbon footprint just shrank considerably. As we drive around it tells you on the dash how many MPG which I can’t help but read out loud it is so good. 68, 71, 99 – God are you going to do that constantly? asks Teenwolf it’s really lame. ‘OK you can walk then’ I say as I pull over. He shuts up and then as we take a run out of town I hear a voice in the background saying ‘ 121mpg Mum that’s incredible’. I catch his eye in the rear view mirror – we both laugh – he is as impressed as I am despite his teenage brain saying ‘must not agree with mother. Must take mickey out of mother’.




My birthday today, 110 years old. Having a quiet one this year just Dave, me, Louis , Mum and old pal George who is staying with us. I said no presents this year as we are credit crunched and unfortunately Dave listened. Not amused. To make up he takes us to Bar Roma for tea. He is forgiven as we swig down a big glass of white and the girl from the next table comes up to say ‘hello I read your column every week’ and then turning she points at her man ‘ he picked me up from work at 3.30 and hadn’t even notice he was wearing one brown shoe and one black shoe!’ We had a good laugh about that then I wheeched my camera out and took a photo of the shoes and of them – Robert and Karen – -who will be moritifed to see this! It’s good to know I am not alone with shoe disasters and accosting people in bars!


X Factor. Yes I am hooked. I love Cheryl Cole she is so normal and clearly getting up Danni’s nose which makes her all the more likeable in my book! Have a flumpy night,

I made a big curry which has been in the fridge for 2 days marinating. I like a marination. I put it in making a bit of a song and dance about the herbs and spices that will have permeated the meat making it a thing of beauty. As the credits for X factor roll, I get the curry out of the oven and we settle on the couch. Within 2 minutes all 3 of us are in the kitchen engulfing as much water as we can get into our faces – it seems my hand slipped when putting in the chilli sauce – so it is more the X-pletive factor until after a tub of yoghurt each we return to the couch with a family bag of crisps and the phone number for the local pizza delivery. Never see Nigella doing that.