X-Factor Riles Eccleston

Christopher Eccleston has hurled a fist at the flying X’s of The X-Factor calling the show ‘depressing’ and a celebration of ‘mediocrity’.

Eccleston, speaking at the London launch of Accused, warned the latest participants seeking fame and fortune that it won’t bring them happiness.

He said:

“From what I can see, the people who make X Factor hate their audience. It’s cheap, ritualised humiliation, celebrates total mediocrity and encourages sneering at people. It puts the emphasis on being famous rather then being good.”

He then went in for another rally of digs:

“But these people are chasing fame for its own sake. That’s vacuous. I’ve been famous and I can tell you there’s nothing there. The only thing that’s there is the work you do. But stuff like The X Factor is really depressing. Watching television should be about bettering yourself, shouldn’t it?”

Accused is one such rewarding programme. Written by legendary TV writer Jimmy McGovern (Cracker, The Streets) the six part series sees six ordinary people ending up in the dock. The first part, which is available on the iPlayer now, saw Eccleston playing Wily, a hard-working joiner, father and husband, whose personal decisions while caught in the teeth of the recession have massive implications for his family.

The episode is the sixth time the pair have worked together and it seems to be a well that Eccleston would return to again and again:

“McGovern writes up for his audiences, not down to them. The character Willy does many unsympathetic things but McGovern presents them in a way that appeals to us. It’s about the quality of the writing, the complexity of the character and the questions it asked.”

A previous collaboration Hillsborough is being screened as part of the Clapperboard Presents series with Eccleston set to attend and take part in Q & A session.

Hillsborough is a dramatisation of the events that unfolded on April 15, 1989. It follows three Liverpudlian families before the Liverpool FC match, during the tragedy and at the ensuing court battles, which tried to decide who was to blame and what went wrong- with Eccleston playing Trevor Hicks, who lost two teenage daughters in the tragedy.

CLAPPERBOARD Presents. . . Hillsborough is at the Liverpool Picturehouse at FACT, Wood Street, on December 6. Tickets £11 (£8 concs) from 0871 902 5737.

Accused, featuring Mackenzie Crook (The Office) as as a bullying Lance Corporal who makes life a misery for young soldiers continues next Monday at 9pm on BBC 1.

(via Daily Record)

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