Belfast Telegraph

It's time to scupper these crazy Titanic auditions

By Gail Walker

News that the Titanic visitor attraction in Belfast will be subjecting potential employees to a MTV/X Factor style 'audition' produces a heavy sinking (yes, pun intended) feeling in the pit of the stomach.

I know it's in all our interests to have Belfast portrayed as a modern, vibrant city, but isn't this all just a little bit glib?

Candidates for the 70-odd front-of-house jobs will be given a script and then a three-minute slot to offer an interpretative presentation. Mmm. I think I would prefer a quiet academic type who might be able to actually answer my queries, rather than some preening popinjay wannabe who probably sees his or her Titanic experience as the first rung in being a celebrity.

Tim Husbands, chief executive of Titanic Belfast, says: "This is a unique project with unique potential to promote Belfast to the world, so we need people with that special Titanic 'T factor'. The audition day will give prospective employees a chance to let their true personalities shine through."

Makes you ill just thinking about it, doesn't it?

I don't want a tour guide's 'true personality' to shine through. Just a wee bit of knowledge and a lot of politeness would do nicely.

Also, isn't search for the 'T Factor' just a little bit ageist? After all, how many crumblies would be comfortable with an audition format in order to show that they 'like to keep it real' and 'what you see is what you get with me' and all the other massed clichés of reality TV. Maybe the organisers of the event would do well to remind themselves that the T in T Factor may not necessarily stand for Titanic ... (fill in your own mild profanity here).

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