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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 June 2007, 13:32 GMT 14:32 UK
Police alert over TV contestant
Richard Bates
Richard Bates auditioned as a impressionist
A contestant on ITV's Britain's Got Talent show has been withdrawn after police alerted producers that he was on the sex offenders' register.

Lancashire Police contacted ITV after being made aware that Richard Bates, 27, of Blackpool, was taking part in the variety talent show.

A police spokesman said there were concerns the programme might be seen by the victim or the victim's family.

The Home Office said Bates would be removed from the register next month.

A spokesman said he was placed on the sex offenders' register and given a two-year conditional discharge when he was sentenced at Preston Crown Court in December 2005.

No further details of the offence have been given.

An ITV spokeswoman confirmed that the impressionist had agreed with producers to step down from the competition.

'In no-one's interest'

A police spokesman said: "There were concerns that with him being on the programme he might be seen by his victim or the victim's family and there would be consequences from that.

"Lancashire Police spoke with the producers and suggested that it would not be in anyone's interests for him to continue with the programme."

The final of Britain's Got Talent, in which Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan act as judges, will be held on Sunday.

The show has proved a ratings success for ITV, with audience figures steadily rising during its week-long run. Friday's episode was watched by an average of 8.9 million people.


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