Written by Jack Leonard
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Friday, 11 November 2011

ITV executives have confirmed that this year's X Factor winner will be given obscurity counselling to help them deal with the intense pressures of anonymity.

Producers of the show have taken this unusual step after a survey revealed that 80% of the population couldn't name last year's winner. The results also showed that a staggering 98% of those questioned could only name one winner since the competition began in 2004. And that was Leona Lewis.

This year, however, as soon as the victorious contestant's album hits the shelves, they will be whisked away to a secret location. There they will be taught how to cope with the perils that go hand in hand with the X Factor crown.

The innovative therapy includes a session where the contestant is ignored by an entire room of people, then spends five hours sitting next to a phone that refuses to ring. There will also be vocational training in shelf-stacking and minicab driving.

Immediately following the announcement, Internet users with far too much time on their hands accused the producers of coming up with yet another gimmick to halt falling ratings. However, an ITV spokesman was quick to defend the plan.

"Even though we prostitute and manipulate every contestant for our own profit," he said, "we still have a duty of care to them. In the past, people like whatshisname...you know, the tall one, could be relied on to fade away quietly. Unfortunately, this year the voting's so erratic that there's every chance Kitty could win it. That girl needs the attention so badly she's going to self-harm the first time a nightclub doorman doesn't recognise her. Even we can't make that look good."

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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