U.K. to review child performance rules

Could affect 'The X-Factor,' 'Britain's Got Talent'

LONDON -- The government is set to review child performance rules after fears that children are being exploited by reality television.

The review could affect such popular TV blockbusters as "Britain's Got Talent" and "The X-Factor" where children as young as 10 years old have been entered in the competition.

Speaking at a child psychology conference the government minister responsible for children, Tim Loughton, said such shows as Channel 4's controversial "Boys and Girls Alone," had sparked the review.

The program -- which was later cleared by television standards watchdog Ofcom -- let a group of children as young as eight to fend for themselves without adults present. It led to complaints that the producers were exploiting children.

Loughton said the show had "sparked fierce debate about a kind of engineered 'Lord of the Flies' type of scenario," despite the fact that the complaint was not upheld.

"There is a growing need to look again at our child performance laws, which date back to the 1960s. That is something that I will be undertaking in the autumn," he said.
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