Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 27 January 2015

BGT's Ronan: X Factor age rules OK

Ronan Parke says he doesn't think age is an issue when it comes to TV talent shows
Ronan Parke says he doesn't think age is an issue when it comes to TV talent shows

Britain's Got Talent runner-up Ronan Parke has defended the age rules for contestants on The X Factor, denying that 16-year-olds are too young to take part.

The minimum age was called into question this week after judge Gary Barlow reportedly said Luke Lucas, 16, was "too young" to cope with the pressure.

But Ronan, 13, said after his own experiences on Simon Cowell's other ITV talent show: "I think it depends on the person really, I think everyone deserves a chance.

"I was able to cope with it and I had such a great time on there, I'm just so thankful."

But the pint-sized star, whose self-titled debut album is released on October 24 - admitted juggling schoolwork and a pop career was proving to be a challenge.

"It's quite difficult when I go back and I haven't been with them so I have to catch up on what they've been doing, but I have tuition," he said.

"It's just like normal really, all my friends have been really supportive, it's lovely to go back and have some normality. When (Britain's Got Talent) started, the Year Sixes used to come up and ask for my autograph and stuff, but not any more."

Ronan added: "It's changed my life so much, just to be sitting at school and dreaming of doing it, and now to be doing it, it's just so crazy."

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