Hannah Jackson is a unique talent, entertainer, author, successful life-coach, and mother of four sons. Yet even she was left near-suicidal after her Simon Cowell Britain’s Got Talent experience last month. Citing his past relationship with his late mother, Julie, and his promises after failures in managing the mental health of contestants (like Susan Boyle and the crying kids on stage), Hannah has appealed to him on behalf of every wannabe – the good, bad and ugly. No reply so far.
Julie was his mother-mentor and biggest critic. Whenever she felt he overstepped the line – on his weekly calls – she’d put him straight. She had four sons and was an entertainer, as is Hannah. Simon’s treatment of Hannah was worse than anything I have ever heard of on Britain’s or America’s Got Talent. Here was a fake audition; a betrayal of his mother, stage audience and TV viewers. Julie might turn in her grave.
This piece may help her son see how he will (if he hasn’t already) have blood on his hands either from the individuals he has calmly destroyed, or the gang mentality he encourages when the audience scream “Get her off”. His baying colosseum audiences are then let loose on the street to find further ‘entertainment.’
Hannah had passed two auditions in Cardiff, the second being with Charlie Irwin (series producer) with whom she set a BGT record by simply sharing mind-reading rooms stories from her book for a full half hour. I was happy to hear the call from Katie (Charlie’s top researcher) two days later. Hannah mind-reads through furniture, ornaments, pictures and personal space to help depression, anxiety, confidence, body issues, addictions and loneliness. Her book and show boast a wide range of video and written testimonials.
Katie wrote that Charlie wanted to test Hannah’s mind-reading for himself. Hannah was sent four bedroom-pictures of a person with two issues: “Why am I not being promoted?” and “Why haven’t I found the one?” She was only told that the bedroom-owner was based in China. No name, gender, age, physical, mental or job description. Still, Hannah wrote her mind-reading room analysis explaining how the question and issue showed up in the bedroom-pictures as well as recommendations to shift the client’s mind.
A week later I was again with Hannah – well, she is my wife – when BGT joyfully phoned, and said of the client: “The analysis really resonated with her.”
Hannah wanted to analyse the pictures of any room of Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden, David Walliams or Simon Cowell. Simon said ‘no’ due to privacy issues. He’d only agree to Hannah mind-reading pictures of the judges’ dressing room on stage. That was difficult because it was not a fixed or individual’s room. Hannah asked for the pictures in advance. They were sent.
She’d go through why she reached the analysis for each judge based on where they sat and with whom. Fascinating for a reasonable audience. And every one of Hannah’s friends thought BGT would be blessed by a British woman who’s entertaining and genuinely helpful. (I don’t think they’ve had that before.) And, if/when Hannah won, Simon would be personally proud to present the totally inexpensive, evidence-based, mental health benefits of mind-reading rooms to Prince William during the Royal Variety Show.
At the London Palladium, she’s interviewed throughout the day. One interview is with Stephen Mulhern (Britain’s Got More Talent presenter) who has such a fun time, insists she return after her act.
With a terrible cold, she’s waiting in the wings. Thousands in London, including Simon, have the same cold. She’s been up since 5am; there, by instruction, all dressed up at 8am (for film continuity, always in the same clothes); it’s now 8pm. Foot’s cut with the straps of 12 hours in new high-heels, but she’s ready. Any second now. A whisper in her ear from a producer: “Oh Hannah, just to let you know that the cleaners have been in this morning. The dressing room and seating areas have been totally changed around. Sorry.”
Hannah is ushered onto the stage. (She has performed for thousands before, but just been told pictures on the stage screens will not depict the pictures she was sent a few days earlier). For several seconds the judges don’t look up. Eventually, Simon asks her name, what she does, and manages to sneer at the show name, Room Reader.
A few in the audience, as if on sneer-que, chant “Get her off!”. Hannah is simply answering Simon’s questions. How can they be so hostile so fast! She’s been on stage for seconds. Are they plants?
Hannah shaken, quickly regains her composure. But it gets worse: the producers have not put any pictures on the screens! She has only an explanation of her analysis without the pictures that bring out the brilliance. Still, the other three judges are interested in what Hannah has to say.
The few inspire the many: “Get her off. Get her off. Get her off.” Hannah has to pretend that all is fine and shares her mind-reading analysis. This includes Simon moving places with Amanda so she can be head judge, and Simon can be more reflective, see how it changes the dynamics. This would allow Hannah to show her skill. David, Amanda and Alesha all gather round the top judge gently encouraging him to move. “No.” They pull at his chair. “No.” Hannah thinks this proves just how much he needs to move.
Hannah explains Alesha has the power to jump consciousness in time and space. “Oh, wow!” says Alesha.
“You can ‘jump time’. You are hardly constrained by time or space in doing whatever you want to do.”
“Oh, I love this Hannah, and I really feel that I do this, Wow! Nobody’s ever said that before.”
Hannah – alone – faces the screaming 2,000 while Simon and the others act like nothing’s happening.
Simon asks for an example of what she does. She starts to share the simple but wonderful case of a lawyer on prescription drugs who mimics a portrait of a slave woman on her living room wall. Hannah frees her.
“I could do that,” states Simon.
“I love this, it’s brilliant,” says Amanda.
“Let’s vote,” says Simon, not raising a well-tested hand to silence a crowd who couldn’t have heard much.
David, subdued after failing to move Simon, said Hannah’s act was probably good in houses. Alesha, although noting how perceptive Hannah had been and liking mind-reading rooms, voted just before Amanda and didn’t dare offend the hostile audience. (So much for the ‘Me Too’ campaign! Women are still publicly cowed by Cowells). Amanda voted “yes” to the tiny bit of Hannah she had seen.
Did I mention Hannah’s act? Simon insisted they vote on an act that didn’t happen. The micro-managing workaholic, ensured it didn’t. He had broken Hannah idea by idea, picture by picture, then disrespected her person by not looking up, her name by making out ‘Room Reader’ was awkward (Eastern European names must be much easier for him), denigrated what she does, and inspired (instigated) the crowd.
But Hannah – a strong, resourceful woman – would not rant or cry on stage. Didn’t give him the pleasure. She walked off with her dignity and a wave. She even returned to give Stephen Mulhern her autopsy. Stephen was furious and shocked she’d not done her picture reading analysis, he ran upstairs with Hannah’s book, Room Reader: “They’re having dinner up there, I’ll speak to Simon now.”
Talented people who Simon doesn’t think he can control are side-lined or humiliated. Soon he’ll drive someone to suicide. Don’t worry, the fakery will go on. Before appearing, everyone signs their life away.
Since there was no reply from Simon, Charlie or Katie, the near-suicidal Hannah wrote to Ofcom but the UK regulator can only act after the massively edited transmission. That’s like a woman resolved to get rid of her stalker/sex-pest told by the police she’ll have to wait for the man to attack then give his edited version.
Thinking of BGT’s breach of contract (duty of care and misrepresented vote) to both Hannah, other entertainers, and the viewing public, we tried top London lawyers. But, Simon’s so powerful, seven companies in a row claimed a ‘conflict of interest.’ Maybe some lawyer who’s not caught up in his tentacles could sue him next time a gang kills an innocent person for their entertainment after being inspired by Caligula Cowellius giving the thumbs down at one of his colosseums in one of his fake shows.
Britain’s lost – and will keep losing – talent.
Anton Hicks, publisher, and Hannah Jackson, March, 2018.
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