...the voice of pensioners

Simon Cowell, Nina Myskow and the clap-o-meter – who is the harshest judge?

16 Apr 2019

Dear LPG,


I recently read in the paper that one of my favourite television talent shows is due to return to UKTV in mid-April and realised how things have changed.   I am going back a bit now, but I don’t think that I am going so far back that my fellow visitors to this site will not remember…


Let me take you back to the days of Opportunity knocks.  We started with the public getting to do all the voting while Hughie Green’s only role was to introduce the acts and give them the big build-up. 


We then all got out post cards and pens so that we could send in our votes and how bad or good each act was  measured by public vote and the public vote alone. Back in those days there was no horrid judge to make the acts feel bad, but I suppose relatively few of them really got to celebrity status for any other reason except purely because of what they could do.  Back in those days, before the word app had ever been invented, we had to wait a week to find out what was happening so that the postal votes could be counted and the only indication of what was good and not so good on the night was the Clap-o-meter.  


This was how it all started, but how things have changed since the late 1960s.  The clap-o-meter was a cruel judge back in those days and now Simon Cowell is renowned for being the bad judge of the talent show on the modern version, but do you remember Nina Myskow being the queen judge of harsh criticism back in the 80s when New Faces was the talent show of the era? 


Now the clap-o-meter has been superseded by the golden buzzer and the really bad acts produce celebrities as well as the really good ones.  The only thing that has not changed is the amount of popularity these shows attract and I know that I, for one, will be sitting in front of my TV for the next series. 


EC, Honor Oak Park



While EC believes that we will all remember what a clap-o-meter is. LPG offers a little memory jogger for those that need it and a poll which indicates which is the best TV talent show…


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We have also found a video clip or two of Opportunity Knocks and New Faces for you to enjoy…


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