A top politician has criticised shows like The X Factor – claiming that students’ desire for fame is interfering with their education.

Scottish schools minister Maureen Watt was speaking after a huge number of teenagers turned up for recent auditions of talent show The X Factor in Glasgow – the day before one of their most important exams.

Writing in the Sunday Times, she described how 10,000 people, many 14- and 15-year-olds turned up at Hampden Park in Glasgow to audition in front of judges for a place on The X Factor the day before the Standard Grade English exam.

Ms Watt said: “TV bosses decided to fast-track the youngest applicants to the front of the queue so that they could get home to study.

“But how many of them would have been willing to buckle down to revision after an afternoon spent dreaming that their Hollywood break was just around the corner?”

She went on: “The reality is that while for a tiny proportion of teens, their red carpet dream will come true; for the remainder, a fulfilling life will depend on finding a career and attempting to be all they can be.”

Ms Watt further criticised modern society’s focus on celebrity lifestyle, saying it sent a ‘confusing message’ to the country’s adolescents.

She said: “Stories about Pixie Geldof (under 18 but not averse to attending glitzy events where the champagne flows) and the many ‘boyfriends’ of teenager Emma Watson, star of the Harry Potter films, provide escapism from exams, parents and peer pressure.”