Obviously, there are lots of reasons to hate X-Factor – the manufactured sentimentality, the cruel mocking of the mentally bewildered, the appalling taste in music, and so on (and on and on). But I have a particular reason of my own for finding it unwatchable. It’s this: if there had been such a thing as X-Factor when I was, say, nineteen and it had been for writers instead of singers, I can’t say with one hundred per cent certainty that I would not have applied. I would like to think that I would have seen through it, the way sensitive and tasteful young singers no doubt see through the current debacle and stay put in their bedrooms when Louis and co. come to town – but I couldn’t swear to it. Maybe I would have been up there crying my lamps out and swearing that this was all I’d ever wanted since I was a child and begging some millionaire gobshite to please, please not take it away from me. I was, after all, an idiot when I was nineteen – and twenty, and twenty-one and, come to think of it, all the way up until a couple of weeks ago. So, yeah, I hate X-Factor. But it’s a There-but-for-the-grace-of-God type of hatred. That’s the good kind, right?