Lighter side of life with Kate Mason: In reality this Marmite TV is here to stay ’til Christmas

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From amateur bakers to wannabe crooners whose biggest gig has taken place in their shower – It can only mean one thing reality TV talent season has arrived.

Love them or hate them these shows will dominate prime time viewing until Christmas (I sincerely apologise for mentioning the festive period in September).

Whether it’s baking a pie without a soggy bottom or singing a power balled and making it your own the formats are generally the same - undiscovered talent is showcased, lives are changed and there’s a good chance they’ll feature on the following year’s Celebrity Big Brother. The charm of such shows centres around the fact that all of the contestants are amateurs, unknowns, diamonds in the rough.

Love Simon Cowell and his high waisted trousers or hate him there’s something quite magical about a show like X-Factor that can discover a singer to rival Beyonce who actually works at B&M.

It’s the same with The Great British Bake-Off – a contestant who spends their time baking butterfly buns for their children at home and then turns up and fashions a skyscraper made of macaroons floating on a creme patissiere sea with a concierce made of spun sugar is compelling viewing.

For me that’s always been the charm of these shows, watching an amatuer improve week on week and perform like a pro. But not content with allowing this simple but effective formula to continue it seems the latest ploy to boost ratings is to pull the wool over our eyes.

First it was the cookie crumbling news that some of the amateur bake-off contestants were in fact culinary experts. Take Marie Campbell turns out not only was she trained at a prestigious French cookery school but she also ran a cupcake business. As if that wasn’t enough to stick in your throat it transpires a handful of other contestant are allegedly either making some sort of living from their culinary skills, have a massive social media following on the back of their creations or have tecnhical training. And now it turns out the X-Factor lot are at it too. Hannah Kilminster may have impressed judges and gullible viewers with her rendition of Queen’s Somebody to Love but something was off key.

We were lead to believe the shy singer spent her time mucking out cows on a farm but it was a bull that sprang to my mind when I heard the truth.

It turns out she sang with the classical group Il Divo on Cowell’s other cash cow Britain’s Got Talent.

Spare us the manufactured lies and keep it real.