Britain’s Got Talent – week four

Eleven-year-old James Hobley lets rip in a thrilling mix of ballet and gymnastics...

SEMI-NAKED WOMEN! That’s got your attention – this week, Britain’s Got Talent did the same by loading the front of the show with flesh. It began with Girls Roc, seven hard-faced women in their 20s, sporting leotards with very high legs and very low necks – mankinis, essentially. They did tricks that combined any or all of snakes, fire, hula hoops and their bums. Mostly their bums.

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Then came a gush of flexible females in skintight costumes, all of them leered at by David Hasselhoff, the randy waxwork. At the end of this outbreak of sexual haroffment, David glowered hornily and said, “I’ve been a VERY bad judge.” The thing is, he says yes to anything and his comments are meaningless waffle – so he IS a bad judge! He’s rubbish! It was ironic.

Angela & Teddy comprised a spinster and her very old poodle. Like Donelda Guy, the act was the woman telling the animal to do things to music, some of which it eventually did. Angela & Teddy were funny enough to make Amanda Holden cackle like a high witch, but it is starting to feel as if Britain’s Got Talent, like the film 102 Dalmatians, has simply got too many dogs in it.

Later on, BGT turned into The X Factor. Michael McIntyre pointed out how surprising it was that Bobby Fulford, a massive man with tattoos, sang in a high falsetto – particularly as Bobby was unemployed. Then New Bounce, a cute troupe of kids, dismayed us by making a mess of their song. Did they have a second number that was inexplicably 40 times better than the first? They did.

No cheap tricks required for James Hobley, previously seen on Sky1’s Got to Dance and BBC3’s Autism, Disco and Me: 11 years old, autistic, sunken eyes, wonky smile, legs and spine only a few years out of splints thanks to discovering dance.

Little or nothing was made of all that before James launched into a thrilling jumble of ballet and gymnastics, any rough edges immediately cancelled out by something extraordinary as James enthusiastically piled moves on top of each other. Ant and Dec, who don’t normally break character for triumph or tragedy, were in bits after half a minute.

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There’s an average of just one genuinely affecting success story per week in this series. James Hobley was the best yet.