ZELLA COMPTON: BGT’s Dec is thriving as a TV singleton

Zella says Dec is thriving without long-term TV partner, Ant
Zella says Dec is thriving without long-term TV partner, Ant
Have your say

In the run-up to the final of Britain’s Got Talent there has been a supreme amount of patronising of Dec.

Here he is, ‘coping bravely’ and ‘doing so well’, without his presenting partner in crime, Ant. Oh come on. Let’s take a step back from this for a minute and consider the evidence.

Who hasn’t worked with someone in the team that you’ve had to make occasional excuses for?

The first thing? Dec has been in entertainment for a gazillion years. A gazillion plus two.

It’s not as if he is uncomfortable being in front of the camera, he’s grown-up in front of one. He’s a professional.

The second thing, he’s been doing BGT for nearly a gazillion years, well, donkeys anyway. He’s dealt with all the judges before, he knows what they are like, what tickles their fancies, where the pitfalls will be. He, out of everyone in the UK, is on the pulse.

Thirdly, not all couples stay together for ever.

And lastly, and most importantly for me, he’s been carrying his partner for a long time. Who hasn’t worked with someone in the team that you’ve had to make occasional excuses for? The person that’s tired, or dysfunctional on a regular basis. Look at the audition footage of Ant, he looks like an unwell man. And you’d think Dec would know this right? Being as he’s there.

Surely going solo has been a blessing for Dec. Not only does he get to star in the opening sequences and show off his skills, he’s also released from undue burden.

No longer will he be looking over his shoulder to make sure Ant is okay, no longer will he be worrying whether the contestants talking to his partner are okay, and no longer will he have to worry about what might be said live on camera.

This is all supposition, but to me it looks like Dec has had a fine season and has flourished without the extra responsibility of a partner who’s lost his control in many ways.

So should we be patronising Dec with a ‘hasn’t he done well?’ Or simply judge him on what he’s done? A pretty good job all round.


BGT was okay for a series, but it was only when the cast of the UK’s new Magic Mike came to the stage that my eldest teenage daughter sat forward happily with, ‘finally, something the whole family can enjoy’ (much to my husband’s surprise).

That said, I was really hoping to be writing about a female BGT winner, no such luck with the finalists this year.

The Chiang brothers were high on my list for the top – I thought they were super awesome – but instead the nation’s winner is Lost Voice Guy, and that’s not so bad.

He was certainly the happiest comedian I’ve seen in years and took so much delight in his success. Given his previous win of BBC’s new comedy award, we’ll be hearing much more from him.


I caught a re-run of a film called Idiocracy last week. This tells the story of two average people who go into deep sleep hibernation and wake up 500 years later in a world peopled by idiots, where stupidity is praised and revered, and people win contests to become Secretary of official office, as in secretary of interior, etc. Set in the USA, it made me feel sick to watch. Really. Written in 2006 as a comedy, it felt in the week of Kim Kardashian meeting Trump for a discussion about penal reform, as more of a documentary than a dystopian future, especially with the running commentary on rubbish avalanches. I’m sure that I am not the first person to make the connection, and that I won’t be the last.