This weekend’s X-Factor hangs in the balance due to a lack of animators to bring life to Simon Cowell’s and Cheryl’s botox numbed faces. Normally carried out by Wallace and Gromit creators Aardman Animation this highly skilled work is a vital component of the show.
However Aardman are striking for better pay on the grounds that they are not paid enough to have to endure the constant stress of trying to make Simon and Cheryl not look entirely dead behind the eyes. A task which the hard-pressed animators say is beyond even their Oscar-winning talents.
For eleven seasons Aardman’s technique of stopping the cameras once every second and physically manipulating the judge’s faces into appropriate expressions has proved extremely effective. Turning the cameras off so frequently also gives the producers plenty of time to engineer the all-important ‘spontaneous’ moments upon which the X-Factor relies.
One positive aspect of the strike is that Aardman stalwart Peter Sallis is pleased to have the weekend off telling reporters that it’s nice to have a break as providing Cheryl’s voice is “absolutely buggering my larynx.”