Page last updated at 16:24 GMT, Thursday, 14 August 2008 17:24 UK

Cowell promises 'clean' X Factor


Hopefuls try to impress judges in auditions in the new X Factor series

Simon Cowell has promised there will be "no funny business" with phone voting on this year's series of The X Factor.

Public confidence in TV competition voting took a hit after a series of issues involving ITV and BBC shows.

Cowell said the ITV talent show came out "clean as a whistle" in an Ofcom investigation last year.

The impresario added: "Our producers pride themselves on fairness. We have to trust producers and we have to have the public trust us."

While shows including Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway were found to have "serious editorial issues" following the watchdog's investigation, The X Factor did not.

In December, Ofcom also said it was looking into 80 complaints from X Factor viewers who claimed they could not phone in to vote for eventual runner-up Rhydian Roberts.


Girls Aloud star Cheryl Cole on her role as new X Factor judge

Alleged attack

Speaking at a press conference to launch the latest series of the show, Cowell also said it was impossible to know if contestants had skeletons in their cupboard.

Last year, 15-year-old finalist Emily Nakanda withdrew from the show after a video emerged showing her allegedly attacking a teenage girl.

She was seen punching and grabbing the girl by the hair in the video recorded on a mobile phone.

Cowell said: "We don't know. We know a little bit... but this is a reality show and we have no way of knowing what's going to happen."

Contestants this year include a 26-year-old woman called Rachel who has five children - the first born when she was 13 - has battled a drugs problem, and spent time in prison.

Cowell added that the show was about "giving people a second shout".

Early truce for Dannii and Cheryl
11 Aug 08 |  Entertainment
Cheryl Cole is new X Factor judge
10 Jun 08 |  Entertainment
Osbourne quits as X Factor judge
06 Jun 08 |  Entertainment
ITV admits staging X Factor shots
15 Aug 07 |  Entertainment

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific