Off the Wall: Nadine Learns Nature of Showbusiness
Byline: Ian Starrett
Naughty Nadine, what have you done? Laura Doherty was a fine ambassador for Londonderry teenagers on ITV's Pop Idol and then you, Miss Nadine Coyle, go and spoil it all by fibbing right, left and centre on RTE's Popstars.
I've absolutely no sympathy with Nadine or her local fans who have raced to her defence when she was booted out of Six, Louis Walsh's next prodigies destined for pop stardom, because she had lied by saying she was 18 years old when she was just sweet - but not entirely truthful - 16.
I support RTE's decision, which Popstars viewers will see underlined this Sunday night, to send Nadine packing, if only for the sake of all the other teenybopper hopefuls who broke down in tears when they failed to win a place on Six, particularly the other 16 year olds who didn't even enter because they honestly believed that rules are rules.
It baffled me just how many people there were in this parish who insisted that Nadine should have been allowed to continue with the band because she looked older than 16. Apart from giving RTE all sorts of legal problems, what sort of a lesson would that have taught 16 year olds around the country about obeying the laws, rules and regulations that one faces in life, if RTE had turned a blind eye to this flaunting of an agreement everybody else was sticking to?
Yet, it was amazing how many Londonderry people, BBC Radio Foyle broadcasters especially, who failed to condemn outright this cheating act. "She told a wee porky, so what?'' bleated Shaun Coyle on afternoon BBC Radio Foyle. Morning show presenter Susan McReynolds said she'd watched the fly-on-the-wall footage of Nadine's lie being rumbled and said: "Don't do this to the wee critter'', while morning news anchorman Paul McFadden accused RTE of "milking it.''
Nonsense, it was great television. RTE had hooked a teenager who had attempted to dupe them and were determined to keep their cameras trained on her pretty little face as they grilled her about her real age, and as she said her emotional goodbyes to the group that would have helped her gain almost instant fame and fortune.
"I was exploited,'' she has since said, claiming that RTE used her to make their programme better.
Well, of course, they did, dearie. And, had Nadine's real date of birth not been uncovered, she would have been only too glad to sing, smile, pose and perform for those very same cameras.
Nadine, that's showbusiness, kid.
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