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After a weekend when unlikely singing star Susan Boyle was eclipsed on Britain's Got Talent by dance troupe Diversity, Pete Millington applauds all the particpipants. He says it's not the winning that counts ...

The singing and shouting is finally all over and no one can complain about the final outcome with an amazingly choreographed, multi-aged dance group named Diversity winning the final in spectacular style.

But the nation's professionalised, high-art elite are already on the counter attack with claims that the Britain's Got Talent competition featured nothing but the banal and the untalented.

These are the self-proclaimed culture experts who snobbishly contend that only the intellectual classes can produce and enjoy 'art' and that art itself must always soar above the highest notch on some sort of clinically measured yardstick designed by classically educated know-it-alls down at the royal academy of art fascism.

Actually, I believe that these people are so intellectually blinkered that they miss a rather clever and fundamental point, characterised by the likes of Greek Irish dancer Stavros Flatley and son, which is that in 'having a go' the amateurs are not only showing that art should be about participation by anyone and not just the domain of the pat-one-another-on-the-posterior elites, but in that participation the entertainment created is often wittily ironic in giving a very humorous one fingered salutation to the arty-farties and the would-be professors of intellectual snobbery.

Incidentally, did you know that the connections between Irish and Greek culture are actually rooted in antiquity? Many of the first Celtic tribes who arrived in Ireland by boat from continental Europe were liberated slaves of ancient Greece. Hence the appearance of musical instruments such as the harp which were brought to the settled island directly from the Mediterranean region. Now there's a bit of arty intellectualism of a Monday morning!

Move over Melvyn and let's drag art back out of the academy studio and get it firmly back onto the lurid shag-pile carpeted family living room floor!



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