Monday 25 September 2017

Britain's Got Talent 'fix' claims: Simon Cowell contacts police

Ronan Parke. Photo: ITV
Ronan Parke. Photo: ITV

Andy Bloxham

Simon Cowell is preparing to take legal action over allegations that Ronan Parke, one of the finalists on the television show Britain's Got Talent, had been groomed for stardom.

Ronan Parke, 12, from Norwich, is the bookmakers' favourite to win the series this weekend and has been described as Britain's answer to the US star Justin Bieber.

However, an anonymous blogger who claims to be a Sony Music executive alleged Ronan has been known to Cowell's firm, Syco, a division of Sony BMG, for two years.

The blogger alleged that Ronan already has a management deal and had his look moulded to appeal to the show's audience.

Syco categorically denied all the claims and lawyers for the firm are understood to have reported the issue to police.

The blogger's account of Ronan's alleged "development", which has been widely viewed on the internet, claims that the boy's hairstyle, clothing and mannerisms have all been choreographed.

The 2,500-word blog post claimed to "shine some light on the smoke and mirrors trickery of Syco" and was viewed hundreds of thousands of times before being taken down.

The blog also claimed Syco scouts had spotted Ronan in 2009 performing at a birthday party for his family friend Bryan Gunn, the former Norwich City goalkeeper, who initially seemed to confirm this on BBC Radio Five Live before his wife Susan said: "The only time we have heard Ronan sing is at small gatherings with our two families."

Ronan's mother Maggie, 52, also dismissed the claims and told BBC Radio Norfolk said: 'It's laughable and it couldn't be further from the truth. There's no foundation in it whatsoever."

Ronan is one of six acts to have already made it through to the ITV1 final, with further acts to be chosen in semi-finals tonight.

He won the viewers' vote on Monday, putting him straight through to the Saturday show.

Syco and Sony Music said they would take legal action to "prevent further publication of these unfounded allegations".

Syco said in a statement: "There has been speculation on the internet that Britain's Got Talent finalist Ronan Parke was known to and worked with Syco/Sony Music before entering the show. There is no truth in this story whatsoever.

"Ronan first came to Syco/Sony's attention when he entered this year's competition.

"Syco/Sony Music will not hesitate to take whatever legal action is appropriate to prevent further publication of these unfounded allegations."

Telegraph.co.uk

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