Channel 4 broadcast a programme at 10.00 p.m. on Thursday 23 February, which followed the lives of three little girls who were aiming to win the title of Disco Kid, dancing freestyle in outrageously sexualized costumes and heavy make-up. Well, OK, most little girls love to dress up, but these poor little souls were forced to dance, no matter what, by their wildly ambitious mothers. In fact, what they put the children through amounted to child abuse.
Orlagh from Belfast had to dance while taking anti-biotics for a kidney infection, being sick with fear and puffing on an inhaler. In between 45 second bouts of frenetic, body-breaking movement, her mother berated her for not being "crisp" enough.
Clemmie had a bad back, but her mother told the physio about the finals, so of course she had to go to Blackpool and dance, never mind damaging her spine further.
Poor Billie was dragged away from her friends and family in Bradford, to live in Scotland to be near the best disco dance teacher there was. She was so sad and actually, a bit traumatized by the move, but hey, mum's ambitions had to be fulfilled.
It was fascinating viewing, eliciting a mixed response of horror and sorrow, and most of all, anger at what those children were made to endure by the mothers who were supposed to love and care for them. If you can watch it, then do so and see how it affects you personally. If anybody reads this, then please find a way to make your feelings known, because I bet any right-thinking person would be as horrified as I am.