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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 March 2007, 18:03 GMT
ITV's Ice final hit by vote fault
Melanie Lambert and Kyran Bracken
Kyran Bracken won after performing Torvill and Dean's Bolero routine
About 11,500 text message votes for ITV1's Dancing on Ice final were not counted because of a "technical problem" at the Vodafone network.

The votes for Saturday's show were not delivered until Monday morning, the mobile operator has confirmed.

ITV said this was "less than 1%" of the total and would not have prevented rugby star Kyran Bracken from winning.

Each message cost 35p plus the standard text rate and Vodafone has promised to "automatically" refund 50p per vote.

"These votes represented only a small minority of votes cast by Vodafone customers," the mobile phone company said in a statement, stressing that "all other texts were successfully delivered".

"The Vodafone customers who were affected received a message to tell them that the vote was too late and Vodafone UK will this week be automatically refunding those customers the cost of their text."

ITV said it had been assured this was "an isolated problem".

Complaints

TV votes and contests are currently under intense scrutiny, with premium rate phone regulator Icstis currently investigating 15 separate shows.

The BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five have all taken steps to review their own procedures in recent weeks.

Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan
Richard Madeley said he was "livid" over a problem on his show
ITV even went as far as clearing its schedules of phone-in competitions while an investigation was carried out - but that investigation cleared Dancing on Ice almost two weeks ago.

ITV has also scrapped its quiz channel ITV Play.

The issue first arose last month when it was alleged that viewers had been invited to participate in a quiz on Richard and Judy's Channel 4 show after a contestant had already been chosen.

Then it emerged that the BBC One cookery show Saturday Kitchen had issued an appeal for callers to a programme that had already been recorded.

Some viewers using the "red button" on digital satellite were wrongly charged when they voted for the winner of ITV1's talent show The X Factor.

And it was also confirmed that competition results had been faked by Five's Brainteaser quiz and BBC One's long-running children's series Blue Peter.




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