Simon Cowell's Production Company Slams Allegations of Elaborate 'Britain's Got Talent' Fix
LONDON -- Disturbing allegations that Britain's Got Talent and X Factor winners have been picked from the start were angrily denied Wednesday by Simon Cowell's production company Syco, which said that a long list of anonymous accusations against the shows were "one hundred percent untrue."
Syco reps told The Hollywood Reporter that the producer was taking legal action against a website for posting a memo claiming to be from a Sony Music exec with knowledge of insider fixing on the show and said the accusations were entirely false. The production company is also understood to be calling in the police to investigate.
Among the allegations made were the claims that 12-year old Ronan Parke -- the favorite to win Saturday's final in the U.K. -- had been under contract with Syco and styled and coached by Syco execs for two years before ever appearing on the show.
The anonymous memo also claimed that the youngster, who has been compared to Justin Bieber -- had been prepped to play up his youthful looks and effeminate appearance.
The memo also claimed that Ronan had been fixed as a winner for the 2011 show even before auditions began earlier this year.
But the producers of the show -- which airs on ITV1 -- said there was "absolutely no truth" in the blog, which has been widely circulated.
In a week where Cowell has been in the headlines on both sides of the Atlantic after axing Cheryl Cole from the line-up of X Factor U.S., and been criticized for his tired and puffy appearance on is return to the final stages of Britain's Got Talent, the allegations that some of the U.K.'s most successful shows are an elaborate fix is the most damaging accusation yet.
"It's 100 percent untrue and we are taking legal action against the website, a Syco spokeswoman said. "The first time Ronan tested for the show was in the auditions [earlier this year]. We had no prior relationship with him."
In a separate statement Syco said: "There ha 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 to the story whatsoever."
ITV, which broadcasts both Britain's Got Talent and X Factor in the U.K. said it had no concerns over the report.
"We've spoken to Syco and they have assured us that there is absolutely no truth in the story."
And on a completely random yet related note: Doesn't Ronan bear a striking resemblance to pop music prodigy Justin Bieber?