back to article BT Tower falls over, crushes X Factor hopefuls

BT's iconic central London tower flipped out on Saturday evening, delaying transmission of an episode of The X Factor for 15 minutes. The delay to the start of Saturday night talent-show-cum-hard-luck-story-cringefest sparked a cascade of conspiracy theories, as concerned fans stayed on their arses to bombard Twitter and …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's a thought

    >BT confirmed: "There was an unusual power spike on Saturday evening which disrupted services from the BT Tower for a short time. We are looking into the circumstances behind the outage."

    Maybe when the X-Factor started everybody went to put on the kettle whilst waiting for the adverts to start creating the power surge which caused the outage.

    Note: This is just an educated guess as I've never seen the programme and couldn't even if I wanted to, for all I know it might be quite a good show.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >"an educated guess"

      But I'm guessing that education didn't include much about the behaviour of electricity.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Behavior of the National Grid

        Maybe AC@12:09's didn't, as much as I'm guessing that your education didn't include much about balancing the frequency of the national grid.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          >"balancing the frequency of the national grid"

          Well if you're so educated about it, perhaps you'd like to explain how a widespread surge in demand distributed across the whole country, requiring extra capacity to be brought on line and disparate supplies to be brought into sync, could somehow generate a very precisely-targeted spike that was delivered to just one end customer, who by an astonishing coincidence happened to be the organisation broadcasting the signal that had led to the distributed demand?

          And to original AC: guess you can only recognize a quip when it's you making it then.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC 17:11

        >But I'm guessing that education didn't include much about the behaviour of electricity

        It did, quite a lot, but then for the sake of a quip on using the programme time to make a cuppa instead of the adverts I can overlook a myriad technicalities.

        Whilst not being a party animal I'm guessing I'd still be a lot more fun than you at parties.

  2. Silverburn


    My mistake - I took the headline literally...turns out neither of these things happened, and the visual and audible vomit spewing from the TV has not ceased.

    Thank goodness for MW3!

    1. error handler

      Unfortunately yes, it's still the same vomit spewing from the screen.

      Boring, bland, plastic-wrapped, completely lacking in soul; nothing more than a rehash of last year's outing with a slight facelift but no attention paid to the fundamental flaws. One can't help but feel that the creators don't care at all about the quality of what they're churning out, and instead see the whole exercise as an opportunity to acquire another enormous pile of cash whilst simultaneously proclaiming themselves as artistic geniuses sent to save the world.

      Anyway, enough about MW3.

      1. BritPad

        Sorry are you talking about the iPhone 4s or the x factor

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It was God..

    Trying to tell the nation of halfwits that vote, that the show is rigged or unfair at best. How can someone voted off weeks ago suddenly jump past others to this stage? All those still in are at a disadvantage, having performed more and been at risk more. It is all just a cash machine for Cowell.

    Why people vote is beyond me. Anon because X Factor fans can be dangerous.

    1. Eponymous Cowherd
      Thumb Up

      X-Factor fans are dangerous?

      They might be if they could work out which end to hold a knife.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      definitely a fix

      for Amelia to be removed then brought back on - two controvertial circumstances. Not that I like the X factor but I can't afford to go out any more and it's more entertaining for all its dross than anything else on at that time.

    3. BritPad

      Now to the judges....................

      Now to the judges - what do you think of AC's comment:-

      Louis - You have the x-factor, you are what we have been waiting for, your comment deserves on be on the Register. You are the next Lester Haines

      Tulisa - I dunno if I can make a connexshun wiff your poin-a-view, sorry

      Kelly - Hey, you're my guilty secret. The other one is that I'm getting mega bucks to appear on this crap (even when I pull a sickie)

      Gary - Louis how can you say that AC has the x-factor if he or she is anonymous - like I was before I reformed Take That (and will be again once this series ends).

      1. MJI Silver badge


        ** Note - my wife watches this - I am on the PC **

        Well they are all irritating

        Clarksons Mate with better music taste than the plastic man who isn't on.

        The Sackgirl.

        The irritating yank.

        The miserable git who dreses like an OAP.

        Then they have lots of crap karaoak acts.

  4. I'm Brian and so's my wife
    Thumb Down

    Crushing my hopes?

    I was happy to take the headline literally - you have *not* made my week :(

  5. Naughtyhorse

    We are looking into the circumstances behind the outage.

    Later a phonecall was recieved from the paramilitary wing of the musicians union claiming responsibility.

  6. Just Thinking

    As reality TV goes

    Actually the later stages of the competition aren't that bad. Some of the contestants sing pretty well.

    Compared to watching unusually thick members of the public compete to see who has the most personality flaws, or a bunch of has-been ex-celebs attempting to do things they aren't any good at, or a baby hurting itself on YBF while its parents film it rather than helping...

    The theories at our house on Saturday evening were darker - Louis died, that one who got booted off topped himself, or there had been a terrorist attack. Or my favourite on twitter, it was taken off air because some of the audience were wearing poppies.

  7. Locky
    IT Angle

    Heaven forbid something may stop cashco... integraty of the competition

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    X Factor

    There's two reasons I don't watch the X Factor.

    1, It's crap

    2, I can't stand Simon Cowell, he's a douchebag.

  9. My Alter Ego

    If only it were true.

    The X Factor bit, not the tower.

  10. TRT Silver badge

    I blame...


  11. pctechxp

    Knock it down

    Save us from the Saturday evening dross but make sure the entire Strictly Come Dancing team, Ant and Dec and Cowell and co are buried in the rubble.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      AntandDec - Antordec

      I think they should have A and D tattooed on their foreheads so we know which one is which.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Lay off SCD

      Nothing wrong with skin tight catsuits.

  12. atomic jam


    Q: What's that?

    A: I think its on when your out having a beer, or watching QI.

  13. Andy 97

    Joe won't be getting an invite now...

    Oh, you owe me a new keyboard!

    Thanks for making me laugh on a crappy Monday morning.

  14. Andy 97

    Erm... 15 minutes?

    Don't Red Bee Media also have redundant hooks at this site too?

    I keep thinking about the word 'cobblers' for some reason.

    Broadcast television is the prime example of dual redundant infrastructure unless the cutbacks at ITV have been so drastic.

    ITV 1 is a national network with a premium audience, a 15 minute prime time outage for ITV1's flagship show... come on SYCO, enough of the BS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      But they never did get round to making the redundant 2nd Post Office Tower, did they?

      Redundancy doesn't and can't fix every problem, it just mitigates against many problems.

  15. aBloke FromEarth
    Black Helicopters

    I assume it's like that WWE pro wrestling

    Sure, they're good athletes, but the viewing public suspends its disbelief for the entertainment, right?


    Please tell me that people realise it's fixed. Please.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    15 minutes

    Only? Shame...

  17. TeeCee Gold badge

    "...delaying transmission of an episode of The X Factor for 15 minutes."

    Is there an index of Planetary Good Taste?

    If so, was there a measurable increase for 15 minutes?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not really...

      As they filled the 15 minutes with auditions (crap and OK ones)

      I know a few musicians who have/are doing it the old fashioned way of touring, practice, more touring, more practice and experience, larger venues etc.. etc.... there's something to be said for doing it like that.

      The whole X-Factor Rock Week was a bit laughable as was the Queen/lady GaGa one this weekend.

      Do not like this whole media-driven instant win fame.

  18. PapaBravo


    So theres a single point of failover for UK television broadcasts? Who runs the BT Tower...RIM?!?

    Next we'll have x-factor fanbois demanding compensation for the 15 minutes they didnt have service despite the fact their televisions still performed as television...

  19. The Guv

    Not convinced....

    My point is fairly straightforward - I didn't hear about any other channels having issues.

    I am struggling to believe that there was a whole floor with an outage that only impacted 1 transmission.

    The surge would have been huge to cut off everything including UPS IMO. I'm surprised there wasn't an electrical fire.

    Maybe I'm just being a bit cynical...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think...

      I think that BT Tower is only used to relay live TV, non-live TV is transmitted by other means.

  20. Atonnis


    It's actually a sign of how pervasive and shite that bollocks-fest is that it actually made any sort of news on this site.

    My girlfriend, who usually every year goes blathering on about it no matter how much I say 'no I don't know that contestant and I don't care', has even switched it off and said she's not watching it any more. The show is as real as WWE, but without the talent.

  21. Snark

    It's so fluffy...

    That kitten is so damn cute, thankyou for making my day. I haven't seen that clip in years and years.

    1. Andrew Moore

      ah Kitten Kong. How I'd wish he'd turn up and swat all those PoX Factor wannbes, just like he did to Michael Aspel.

  22. Gio Ciampa

    The real reason for the outage?

    Some twonk let slip the result of the "get Amelia Lily back in" phone "vote" too early, so they pulled the plug to stop people seeing it.

    They failed (of course)...

  23. Andus McCoatover

    ..."BT's erection"...


    Try my mates faces when I told them, as an apprentice in BT (Post office, then) that I worked on the PEU (Pole Erection Unit).

    Having said that, I was fortunate to eat at the top of the BT tower when I was not even a teenager. Before the IRA hit it, natch.

    1. Jim Morrow

      > I was fortunate to eat at the top of the BT tower

      is that some sort of euphemism?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Almost makes me miss the IRA..

      Come, friendly bombs, and hit the tower!

      It's only fit for X-Factor now.


    bt tower lol

    oops a daisy they kept tower off for 15 minutes lol. pitty they should of kept it off for a whole hour honestly i dont know what people see in x factor i really dont. xfactor, dancing on ice, britains got talent its all the same crap. im sick of hearing about x factor and im a celebrity. there all a waste of tv viewing time.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Crap TV ruining my gaming

      Got all this cack on late, X Craptor, I'm a nonentity.

      I want to go online and shoot other people "Death to the ISA"

  25. Anonymous Coward 15
    Thumb Down

    "BT Tower falls over, crushes X Factor hopefuls"

    You bastards. I read that thinking you meant *physically*.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    ITV HD

    I was subjected to this (the other half watches it, I sit idly browsing the net on the phone consuming alcohol).

    At first appeared to be a local UTV issue, but on switching to ITV1HD (manually tuned as UTV wont get the finger out), it was freezeframed to BBC4.

    ITV1HD feeds (including London, Central and STVHD) kept showing digital artifiacts all night (I also had to sit through some smug ex-redtop-editor interview an ex-footballist) as if the dish wasn't correctly aligned.

    Initially thought that the boy who got booted out had broken the golden rule of not stealing transmission gear.

  27. Alan 6

    H2G2 reference

    A bit like Grunthos the Flatulent, who's major intestine, in a desperate attempt to save life and civilisation, leapt straight up through his throat and throttled his brain, BT Tower tried to sacrifice itself to save the sanity of the nation.

  28. D@v3

    Only 15 minutes..?

    [Note to self, must try harder]

    On a separate note, I am sad to see just how many people on here know not only the presenters names, but some of the contestants, I though we were better than that.

    Its on ITV, on a Saturday, right? Even that is more than I want to know.

    1. King Jack

      Some people have other halves or kids. Try and control the remote at your peril!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        not really an excuse, my other half wouldn't go near crap factor with someone else's shitty stick

  29. Anonymous Coward

    To all those who say shame, only 15 minutes, etc

    Would you have been forced to watch it if the programme hadn't been interrupted? Is your TV so crap that it only has one channel or you're so brain dead you can't figure out how to tune in to something else or even turn the thing off completely?

    How did you feel during those 15 minutes? Liberated, withdrawn, a deep sense of foreboding, afraid to go outside in case the world had ended?

  30. Havin_it

    Another in the burgeoning Reg headline tradition

    of promising so much and delivering so little :(

  31. Dave Bell

    I don't watch X-Factor. I am on the Internet.

  32. the Jim bloke

    I consider all these shows

    as the "Special Olympics"

    for talent

  33. MJI Silver badge

    My wife was commenting on this

    She watches it on chase play so to cut out a lot of cack, sometimes that can be a large section of the show.

    I prefer the adverts!

  34. Simon Millard

    Andrew Lloyd-Webber has written a musical about Frankie Coke-Coza. It's called Superstar - Jesus Christ!

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