The Winner Takes It All

So that’s it then.  After weeks of following the contestants, marvelling at their talent (or lack of it) and getting immersed in their life stories, last weekend the ultimate winner emerged: Adam.  Adam?  Matt, surely?  No, dear readers.  While the rest of the UK, including most broadsheet journalists, marketers, agencies and MPs it seems, was being sucked in by the enormous telly magnet that is The X Factor, the Alps family was engrossed in the final of Australian Masterchef on Watch.

We’ve got our own Facebook fangroup, a fraction of the size of the X Factor Facebook group fair enough, but still a place for us fans to express our support.  We tweet about whether Callum, Marion or Jonathan would have been a more worthy winner, though there aren’t enough to propel the hashtag into Top Trends.  But we love those guys.

This programme is a phenomenon in Australia, delivering the highest ratings of their TV year and it’s the 4th highest viewed TV series this decade down under.  It is the offspring of the original British Masterchef, the format owned by UK production company Shine, but it feels worlds apart.  The rather tense British series, with granite-faced John Torode and Greg “cooking doesn’t get any tougher than this” Wallace has blossomed in Australia to a joyful expression of a sunny, generous, multi-cultural society with some of the best raw ingredients in the world.   Over 16 weeks, with 6 episodes a week, we saw 24 competitors, representing the incredible diversity of Australia, battle it out with great civility and courtesy.

So, a great show, but also a perfect illustration of the burgeoning global market that is British TV formats.  The UK is now the biggest exporter of TV formats in the world, from Strictly Come Dancing to Come Dine With Me, all part of the UK’s successful creative industries which now account for 8% of GDP and growing.   And The X Factor will shortly be joining this select band of globe-trotting UK programmes.  It will be fun seeing how that translates over the Atlantic; who on earth will be the American Louis Walsh?  Your guesses please below.

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