'Australian Idol' sacks Kyle Sandilands

Judge booted after girl's on-air revelations of rape

SYDNEY -- Australia's Network Ten has sacked shock jock Kyle Sandilands from the judging panel of flagship show "Australian Idol" after a controversy last week involving a 14-year-old girl's on-air revelations of rape.

"After significant discussions and consideration over recent days ... Kyle Sandilands will no longer be a judge on 'Australian Idol,' " Network Ten said Monday night.

Citing the show's family values, the network went on to say "it has become increasingly clear that as 'Idol' has remained a family focused show, even more so this year with the 6:30 p.m. Sunday time slot, (Sandilands') radio persona has taken on a more controversial position over this period, which is not in the interest of the show.

" 'Australian Idol' is firmly a family program and the recent controversy surrounding Kyle's radio program ("The Kyle and Jackie O show") has highlighted more than ever the conflicting attitude of the two careers."

Ten said that Idol producers FremantleMedia supported its decision, while Idol format owners 19 Entertainment were also reportedly concerned at the possible damage to the Idol brand if Sandilands remained with the show here.

Sandilands is a co-host of "The Kyle and Jackie O Show," on 2DayFM, Sydney's top-rating breakfast radio show, a station owned by Austereo Ltd, which is in turn majority-owned by Village Roadshow. In an on-air lie detection stunt, during which a 14-year-old girl revealed live on air that she'd been raped when she was 12, Sandilands made light of the situation, trying to make a joke of her statement.

Austereo has placed the radio show in recess pending an internal investigation into why the rape revelations went live to air, but the public outcry over the revelations has seen advertisers start to pull their ads from the show.

The seventh season of "Australian Idol" premieres Sunday.
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