Page last updated at 11:37 GMT, Wednesday, 27 August 2008 12:37 UK

X Factor denies contestant claims

Alan Turner. Image courtesy The X Factor - ITV1 7.30 pm Saturday
Alan Turner told judges he wanted to get to know his real family

The X Factor's producers have dismissed claims that contestant Alan Turner's place on the show was in jeopardy over claims he lied to judges.

The Daily Mirror has reported claims from Turner's father that his son lied about not knowing his real family.

An X Factor spokesman said the show and Alan, 23, "refute all claims made" and that his place was "never in jeopardy".

But Turner's father, Alan senior, from County Durham, said he had enjoyed a relationship with his son for years.

He said he last saw his son four years ago, but that he regularly spoke to him by telephone until a year ago.

As much as I love my foster parent for what she's done, I want to know and get to know who my real family are
Alan Turner on The X Factor

He said that he and his son's mother split up when he was 18 months old with Alan senior moving away from Barnsley, in South Yorkshire to Consett.

Alan was later brought up by his grandmother, he added.

Viewers who watched Alan junior's audition in Saturday night's show saw the call centre worker tell judges: "I'm hopefully going to win The X Factor to prove to my real family that I'm not a waste of space and to prove [myself] to my foster parent and make her proud of me."

He said that he was put into foster care at the age of four and that he had "always wanted to get to know my real family".

He added: "I know it sounds a bit corny but I just want a real family, just to know my real mum and my real dad and for them just to say 'we love you no matter what'."

'No apology'

But his dad, Alan senior, told the Daily Mirror on Tuesday that his grandmother had brought his son up - not a foster parent - and that he had regularly spoken to his son on the phone.

Alan categorically denies that he has made up any story regarding his upbringing and refutes the claims which have been made
The X Factor

On Wednesday, the Mirror claimed Alan junior had told the paper that he told judges in error that he was fostered because of "the emotion of the audition" and had begged producers not to throw him off the show.

But a spokeswoman for The X Factor said in a statement: "Alan categorically denies that he has made up any story regarding his upbringing and refutes the claims which have been made.

"Alan has at no point apologised to producers and his position in the show has never been in jeopardy."

She added that in telling the "very complicated story" about his family life "some confusion and doubt has been raised about Alan's relationship with his biological parents, which is unfortunate".

Simon Cowell
Simon Cowell and the judges put Turner through to the finals

But Alan senior, who now lives in Consett, County Durham, told BBC News that he knew his son "inside out".

His son was also in regular contact with his mother, he added.

"When he came out with a statement that he was put into foster care at the age of four, he didn't know who we were, I just found the whole thing absolutely bizarre," he said. "I just didn't know where the lad was coming from."

He added: "We always kept in touch."




SEE ALSO
10m viewers watch X Factor show
17 Aug 08 |  Entertainment
Cowell promises 'clean' X Factor
14 Aug 08 |  Entertainment
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
X Factor debuts with 9.5m viewers
19 Aug 07 |  Entertainment

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


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

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific