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Last Updated: Monday, 3 November, 2003, 18:40 GMT
Pop Idol judges criticised by MPs
Simon Cowell and Pete Waterman
Simon Cowell and Pete Waterman are not known for pulling their punches
A group of MPs has launched an attack on Pop Idol judges for putting image before talent.

MP Jim Sheridan tabled an early day motion, signed by nine others, condemning TV judges for criticising young performers for their looks.

Contestant Michelle McManus was singled out by Pete Waterman, who said her size may prevent her achieving her dreams.

But Pop Idol producer Claire Horton said the show gave equal opportunities to everyone taking part.

Michelle McManus and fellow contestant Kim Gee have both made it into the final stages of the second series of Pop Idol, despite being classed as larger than the typical pop star.


But Mr Sheridan, the member for West Renfrewshire, felt strongly enough about the issue to table a motion - which allows MPs to express an opinion and open a debate.

I am honoured, however, that the programme is so important that it is being discussed in the House of Commons
Producer Claire Horton
It said: "That this house condemns the irresponsible comments of the so-called music experts on this programme when passing their judgements in the young performers.

"Pressurising young people and women in particular to conform to fit the mould sends out the wrong message, not only to the participants but to the other talented youngsters who may also have aspirations to progress in the music industry.

Stereotypical look

It added that contestants should be judged solely on "their unique singing talents and not on preconceived images".

But Pop Idol producer Ms Horton said: "Pop Idol gave Kim and Michelle the opportunity to get into the music industry despite them not having the stereotypical look of a pop star.

"If the judges were concerned about image they would not have put them through to the final 50 and the audience would not have voted them through to what is now the final eight.

"I am honoured, however, that the programme is so important that it is being discussed in the House of Commons."

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17 Aug 00  |  E-G
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02 Sep 03  |  Entertainment

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