BBC Radio 1 podcast, The Talent Factory: Inside The Music Machine available from today

Explores sob stories, tantrums, judges and auditions

New eight-part podcast presented by Amelia Lily to take listeners from the audition room to the stage as former contestants and those behind the UK’s biggest music talent shows reveal their stories and experiences of being part of the music machine.


BBC Sounds

• Each part and process of the music talent show is set to be explored - from the sob stories, tears, and tantrums to the judges and the infamous 2009 chart battle. The series will unveil the stark reality of the shows that transformed the music industry for two decades.

Presented by 2011 X Factor finalist, Amelia Lily, The Talent Factory: Inside The Music Machine will chart the highs, the lows and the impact these shows had on the music industry. Amelia will share her own experience as well as speak to those driving the machine and former contestants including Joe McElderry, Katie Waissel and Danyl Johnson.

For almost twenty years, music talent shows played a key role in UK pop culture with millions of viewers tuning in to watch shows like The X Factor, Pop Idol and The Voice to see ordinary people battle it out with one another, transform into a star and generate a huge following of fans and sales.

The podcast will also look into the role of the judges, money and the future of music talent shows.

Amelia Lily says: “In 2011, I walked into the audition room for the first time and began my X Factor journey. My journey, like the experiences we hear from the contestants in the podcast, was full of highs and lows. The whole experience has made me the person I am today. Without a doubt the show taught me resilience and has made me a stronger person and performer.

“It was great to reveal the secrets of the shows that have shaped the music industry and I know the listeners will be shocked and surprised by what we uncover about music talent shows.”

The Talent Factory: Inside The Music Machine is produced by Cup and Nuzzle for Radio 1. It is available as a boxset on BBC Sounds on Monday 26 September.

In any coverage please credit: BBC Radio 1: The Talent Factory: Inside The Music Machine

Episode Guide

Episode One: Talent
What’s looked after more, the talent or the TV show? Amelia Lily looks at the early days of Pop Idol and X Factor with guests Zoe Birkett and Niki Evans sharing their experiences.

Episode Two: Judges
Any talent show needs judges. But how seriously were TV judges taken in that role? From Simon to Cheryl to Alesha and more, this episode looks at what judges brought to the talent party.

Episode Three: Tears
Crying contestants are a key part of TV talent shows, but is that OK? Sob stories might happen naturally but how much is planned for the cameras and our entertainment? Joe McElderry and contestant Danyl Johnson reflect on how their personal stories were nudged in different directions for the live show VTS.

Episode Four: Tantrums
In this episode, the contestant backstories are evolved and why song choices could be steeped in controversy, and lean towards favouritism. Amelia hears from 2007 X Factor contestant, Niki Evans whose father filled out the form for the show before he passed away and shares about a dark day of filming.

Niki Evans says: They took me to a pub, gave me a Jack Daniels and then they drove me round the corner. It was all blacked-out windows and then the door opened and my dad’s grave was right by my feet with my mum sitting there and I just couldn’t and I just shut the door, I couldn’t breathe… If I could have done it all again, I probably wouldn’t have done it.”

Yvie Burnett, vocal coach for X Factor says: “There’s a room where the votes come in and have to be counted and everything has to be secure, no one’s allowed in that room so there’s no way you can fix a talent show. However – you can choose songs for the people you like that are lovely songs and for the people you don’t like that are – you know…If somebody sings a song that everyone knows and likes then they’re going to get more votes. If somebody sings and it’s what is that again?, even though it’s lovely, they’re not going to get as many votes.”

Episode Five: Popularity
In 2009, there was a chart battle on an epic scale: X Factor winner Joe McElderry vs Rage Against the Machine. Joe meets the campaigners, Jon Morter and Tracey Hayden behind that for the very first time.

Joe McElderry says: “I have to say thank you because looking back now as a professional singer at the time I didn’t have a clue what was going on when the campaign went on. But it sold a lot of records off the back of a very high interest into who was going to get number 1.”

Episode Six: Money
So you’ve competed on a TV talent show, whether you win or lose, there’s money to be made, right? Well, sometimes, but the contestants don’t always see the cash.

Episode Seven: Survival
Tales of talent show survivors, from Jedward to Fleur East, Danyl Johnson, James Arthur and Susan Boyle. Plus how Fleur East beat Mark Ronson to get Uptown Funk’s first number 1.

Episode Eight: Legacy
With X Factor back in the news, Amelia Lily looks at the future for TV talent shows, and what needs to change. Plus Katie Waissel shows her scars from the process, 12 years on.


The Talent Factory: Inside The Music Machine is produced by Cup and Nuzzle for Radio 1. It is available as a boxset on BBC Sounds on Monday 26 September.

Source BBC Sounds

September 26, 2022 7:23am ET by Pressparty  


  Shortlink to this content:


Latest Press Releases