Britain's Got Talent - It Shouldn't Be Allowed...

04/06/2009 10:32 | Updated 22 May 2015

It's got to be one of the most awful, cringeworthy pieces of TV ever: a 10-year-old girl dissolving in tears on Britain's Got Talent last weekend.

I was in agony, and I was only listening to the repeat on the radio the morning after. I'm not allowed to watch reality TV any more.

The mother of Hollie Steel has defended her decision to put the poor thing on the talent show in the first place.

But seriously, what was she thinking? It really shouldn't be allowed.

I can't imagine why you would put your child through this. OK, we've just put a video of our daughter in her baby bouncer on YouTube, but it's not quite the same thing.

Mum Nina told the Manchester Evening News: "Hollie told us that this is what she really wanted to do.

"She has been on the stage since she was young and has done auditions so she is used to having knock backs.

"We couldn't say to her, 'We won't let you do it because there is pressure involved'. But she has overcome all the challenges and we are so proud. We are absolutely ecstatic."

I'm sorry, but I just don't buy the line that "this is what she wants to do".

It's like those mothers who claim their children will only eat chocolate spread sandwiches. Yes, and who gave them the chocolate spread sandwiches in the first place?

When I was a child, I didn't know chocolate spread sandwiches existed. Nor did I want to appear on national TV in a talent show. Possibly because I had no talent, but that's beside the point.

Little Hollie is fortunate in a way that her story has been eclipsed by Susan Boyle ending up in the Priory.

Perhaps that poor woman's problems have taken the spotlight off the 10-year-old. But that hasn't stopped the News of the World already digging up a story about Hollie's "secret grandpa".

Hollie will be lucky if she's not permanently scarred by the experience. If not now, then a few years down the line when some unpleasant adolescent classmates get hold of the video.

But ITV says there are no plans to stop children competing. Of course not. Think of the ratings.

Suggest a correction