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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 1 October, 2002, 16:08 GMT 17:08 UK
From Hear'Say to old hat
Hear'Say
Hear'Say: Will British pop mourn them?

Hear'Say achieved a great deal in their brief spell at the top - but now they have split up, they have little to complain about.

I feel betrayed. Hurt and betrayed. I mean - What about all that time I invested staying in to watch the series?

Just 19 months after I recovered my social life, the group that TV - or should that be we - created, have split. Hear'Say have disappeared from our radar, almost as quickly as they appeared on it.

Noel, Myleene, Suzanne, new boy Johnny, and Danny, who looks like Shrek, said they could no longer stand the amount of abuse they were getting in the street.

Danny, 23, told the Sun: "We have had enough. The public make you, and break you."

Proud

But isn't that the case with all acts, never mind those that we build via the television like a dodgy cut 'n' shut car? Take the top bit from one model, add the horn from another, and hope it goes 0-60 (thousand album sales) in two seconds.

Hear'Say do have a lot to be genuinely proud of. First single, Pure and Simple was the fastest selling debut number one, ever, in British chart history.

Danny Foster promoting Radio 4's Go 4 It
Danny's thumbs-up - not sure what his friend thinks
Not even the Beatles or the Stones can boast that achievement.

But then, Kym Marsh left the band because of "differences", record company parlance for girly fighting with the other members.

One now has an image of lots of hair pulling and scratching, just before they go on to perform in beautiful synchronicity on Top of the Pops.

But what you must remember when considering their fate, is that pop music is transient. It's nothing more than a snapshot of your life, at that particular moment.

We get married to a favourite tune, you go on holiday and return with a "going out" anthem - a song that every time you hear reminds you of that beach, that club, that guy, that girl. It comes, and sorry Hear'Say, it goes.

Playing God

Kym Marsh
Out: Kym Marsh's departure conjured up some odd images
So where does that leave the current crop of Make-A-Star reality shows, like Popstars: The Rivals and Fame Academy, launching this Friday on the BBC?

Well in my parents' house, those shows are about as welcome as a Late Night Currie round at the Majors. But to be honest, it will have no bearing on them at all.

You see - we used to put desperate people in the stocks and throw rotten fruit at them. Or worse still, tethered their legs together and told them to fight lions. This was considered entertainment.

Nowadays - we put them on the telly. And even worse - We play God with their lives. It's us who decides which of them is plucked from obscurity, us who decides their shelf life, and us who bins them with the same disregard.

And providing the participants know this, who cares?

When have you ever felt sorry for numbers two and three who don't get picked on Blind Date? Nobody's ever blamed that show for creating another type of crap single, have they?

When have you ever felt sorry for the pub karaoke champion who wins the 100 on a Sunday night, but by the Monday returns to drive the 105 from Birmingham city centre to Rugely? Where? Exactly.

Idol sales down

Johnny Shentall
Now fans will never get the chance to see Johnny's talents
I'm sure a concerned Will Young and Gareth Gates will have watched today's developments closely.

They might be number one this week, but their sales have already fallen from their first respective chart-topping singles.

For the rest of us - you can sneer from behind your Radio Times, pretending to search out a chin scratching epic on Britain at War, but you, like me, will end up diving for the phone, the next time Ant and Dec invite us to create a star.

In the meantime, if you see one of Hear'Say in your local, the next time Dave DoubleDecks hosts the karaoke, then allow them to enter.

They'll need the cash, and the friends.

Hear'Say split


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