DISCLAIMER: Southend News Network didn’t originally set out to fool the team behind Britain’s Got Talent – this all just sort of ‘happened’ …

Britain’s Got Talent is one of the jewels in the ITV crown. It is a reality TV show that draws in millions of viewers every single year, and now the inevitable has happened. In the early days, people queued up in the hope of using their talent to meet the Queen, and then when the talent pool dried up teams of researchers started contacting prospective contestants and invited them to audition.

However, fast-forward to 2016, and it now seems that BGT researchers have gone one stage further by inviting people WHO DO NOT EXIST to take the first steps towards strutting their stuff in front of Simon, Amanda, David, Alesha and whoever else is filling in these days.

A little while ago, Southend News Network ran a story about a group of burlesque girls who were upset because their float for the carnival had been cancelled. A real tear-jerking tale, had it not been for the collection of clues in the story indicating that the whole thing was made up. These included the fact that the whole thing had been cancelled because of a single complaint about excessive female flesh from a member of the Orthodox Primarkian Community.

Fast forward a little while, and the SNN ‘Newsdesk’ received an email from a chap who works as a casting researcher for Thames / FremantleMedia – the company handling the audition process for Britain’s Got Talent. We have removed his name for obvious reasons, but as you will see from his email he is very keen to get in touch with these girls and get them to come and perform.



Basically, nothing comes up on Google because the people that you are trying to Google do not exist. The story comes from Southend News Network, remember …

Feeling a little bit mischievous, as Chief Reporter I thought ‘why not’ and created an email address for ‘Krakin’ Kat,’ the burlesque performer in question (I should point out once again that she doesn’t exist). Excitedly, our researcher friend got straight to the point with her too.

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With the seeds of a back story firmly planted – DISASTER! He was insisting on a phone call, and this would have been a little difficult due to me having a) testicles and b) no actual knowledge of what a burlesque act would be like. So, in the true spirit of SNN, I masked my phone number and called the researcher chap, putting on my finest ‘girlie’ voice in the process.

Other than the fact that I sounded like the world’s worst drag act, with my opening Barry White-style cough and throat clearance, the researcher seemed delighted with the phone call. It was clear that I sounded like real Britain’s Got Talent material, right down to my awful back stories about being cancelled in the Southend Carnival, getting thrown out of a local shopping centre for an indecent flash mob, and even being forced to give up a poledancing career due to a bad case of vertigo.

I ended the phone call and thought to myself ‘surely he must have twigged by now’ – in all honesty I sounded f*****g ridiculous. However, just a short while later, ‘Kat’ received an email invitation to go and perform at the BGT auditions that are being held on September 9th at The Royals Shopping Centre in Southend town centre.


This is probably the point where the joke needs to end. To be honest, I can’t be bothered to go to the hassle of getting a costume for my one ‘woman’ burlesque act and wandering down Southend High Street, only to embarrass this researcher and his colleague as well.

Southend News Network has an ‘About Us’ page for a reason – it allows people who read SNN to find out more about the whole thing and it clearly states in a number of places that the whole thing is fake, spoof, spurious, bollocks ….. whatever you want to call it. 

However, occasionally there are people who believe that it is real, and even more occasionally there are some very high-profile people who believe that it is real!

Just ask Katie Hopkins when she was convinced that the M25 motorway was going to be closed for a week, or the BBC Radio 5 Live presenter who believed that a Southend man had driven into the sea while playing Pokémon Go. There’s no shame in it, seriously.