BGT producers may face Ofcom enquiry after Susan Boyle meltdown
The makers of Britain’s Got Talent are to face questions by TV watchdogs over their care of singer Susan Boyle, after she was admitted to The Priory clinic on Sunday for exhaustion.
A possible enquiry by Ofcom could be in the offing following the 48-year-old singer’s admission to the private clinic after suffering an emotional breakdown at the weekend when she was announced as a runner-up in ITV’s talent competition.
Boyle, who suffers from learning difficulties, showed the strain of worldwide recognition had effected her when she took to the stage for her final performance in front of the judges on Saturday night.
Producers of the TV show only offered a counsellor to the Scottish singer at the beginning of last week, despite Boyle being thrust into a media whirlwind some seven weeks ago.
After the final ended at the weekend, many viewers flooded phonelines with a ‘large number of complaints’ after Boyle’s strange behaviour on stage and her subsequent meltdown.
SEE SUSAN’S FINAL PERFORMANCE BELOW:
Under Media regulator Ofcom guidelines ‘people in a state of distress should not be put under pressure to take part in a programme or provide interviews, unless it is warranted.’
Blog sites and internet chatrooms are rife with claims that Boyle should not have been allowed to compete in the final, after a week of unusual and disturbing behaviour by the singer.
Following Boyle’s admission to The Priory on Sunday, the clinic’s group medical officer, Professor Chris Thompson spoke out about the Scottish singer’s treatment on the show, saying: ‘I would want to know that people being exposed to such pressures are actually looked after.
‘I think I know what TV companies would say – they would say “these people are willing volunteers…”
‘The fact that there is consent between the TV company and contestant does not prevent the TV company having a duty of care once that consent has been given.’
A spokesman for Britain’s Got Talent producer Talkback Thames responded last night admitting: ‘It is a very different scenario. But because of the level of media attention and the speed with which it became a global phenomenon, we will be reviewing all of our policies in relation to psychological treatment.’
Panel judge Piers Morgan spoke out about Boyle’s admission, revealing: ‘I think she was exhausted mentally, physically, emotionally and she had had no proper sleep in days and hasn’t been eating.’
It is thought the singing sensation will stay in The Priory until the end of the month and Britain’s Got Talent production company will foot the £3000-a-week bill.