A recent trip to London brought much headache inducing stress, as detailed in this blog post
. We did however manage, thanks to a quick nap and a vat of rescue remedy to get some things accomplished on this trip, one of which was visiting Wembley Arena in London to watch X Factor being filmed.
I know some people can’t do enough to get away from news of X Factor when it is on the TV, but I’m guessing that if you have read this far you are not one of them. I will therefore make a pretty unsurprising confession – I LOVE the X Factor. As the days start to get shorter and evenings cooler, it is so nice to cuddle up on a Saturday evening and watch it. I have a love/hate relationship with reality TV – in that I often hate myself for loving it, believing that I should have my nose in a book and try and expand my mind. That having been said, it is so nice sometimes to just switch off and watch something totally passive, thinking of nothing more than the odd mildly bitchy but ultimately harmless comment.
The last time I was at Wembley Arena was to see Take That in a concert before their comeback, which was played largely for their formerly teenage fans who were not in their 20’s and allowed to drink and swear. It was a lot of fun – but I was far more mobile then. I would be lying if I didn’t admit to being a little worried about the whole wheelchair thing in such a big venue. It’s often the big business venues and companies that have the worst policies for disabled patrons (sorry if you don’t like that big businesses – clean up your act and I’ll happily change my opinion). Here I was (mostly) very pleasantly surprised.
I’ve been writing a series of accessibility guides on Euan’s Guide which is a fantastic resource for reading about peoples experiences of how accessible different places are. It’s great to be able to go somewhere and know there won’t be any nasty surprises. When you’re a wheelchair user, a simple step can bar you entry from a place you want to go, and not everybody is conscious of disabled visitors. My review of the access and customer care at the SSE Arena is here.
It was a fun day. We listened to many talented acts singing their hearts out, and listened to the judges comments on each act. The judges were very fair, and gave every performer a chance to shine. The comments were largely very fair, which didn’t surprise me as I suspected the footage was edited to make the judges look harsh, especially Simon Cowell, who is actually a real sweetie.
Other than the delay of starting time, which was moved from 5.30pm to 8pm, the thing that seemed to take the longest was keeping Cheryl Cole looking perfect. It seemed like the man with the hairspray and face powder swooped on Cheryl after every other act. It seems looking that effortlessly good takes a lot of time and effort!
The highlight of the day I think was actually the compare. He was totally hilarious, and I laughed so hard I may have peed a little. His name is Ian Royce or ‘Roysey’. He took the mick out of the audience, out of the crew and the judges, and even phoned an audience members dad on her mobile and left a message saying she was great in bed! Just my sort of humour (gutter level). You can even follow him on twitter here. He did a great job of warming the crowd up after the long wait and really did make the evening go with a bang!
Do you like to do to live events and concerts? What are your favourite parts? The atmosphere? The talent? Just getting dressed up and clapping and screaming? You’re never to old for whooping at a great live act!!