Jo Brand: Britain's Got Talent is 'cruel'
Jo Brand has revealed she doesn't know how to feel about talent shows such as 'Britain's Got Talent' and 'The X Factor' because she thinks they can take advantage of the mentally ill
Jo Brand has slammed 'Britain's Got Talent' as "cruel".
The 57-year-old comedienne - who acted as a judge on ITV celebrity reality show 'Splash!' - has slammed the channel's talent shows, claiming they exploit people with mental illnesses.
She said: "I have a huge ambivalence to shows like 'The X Factor' and particularly 'Britain's Got Talent' because I think they wheel on people who have mental health problems for other people to laugh about.
"I feel very angry about that. It is easy for all of us to take the p*ss out of someone who thinks they can sing when they can't and I think that's very cruel. The field of mental illness is very complex because as well as issues like schizophrenia or depression there are lots of other different shades of problems.
"Someone may have a personality disorder or schizoaffective disorder. There's also delusion but sometimes that can be a symptom of schizophrenia."
The 'QI' star and former mental health nurse also insisted that individuals with these illnesses who try out for Simon Cowell's talent search contests need people around them to help them understand they may not be as skilled as they believe themselves to be.
Jo told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "I don't understand why their families can't tell them the truth. Or are they so socially isolated that they don't have family and friends to tell them the truth?
"It's more and more a feature of society - to hold people up to ridicule for one reason or another."