Cowell denies Ronan talent 'fix'
Simon Cowell's company has denied claims that Britain's Got Talent finalist Ronan Parke has been groomed for stardom on the show - and threatened legal action against anyone who repeated the allegations.
The 12-year-old is seen as a hot favourite to triumph when the series reaches its climax on Saturday.
But an anonymous blogger claiming to be a Sony Music executive alleges that the youngster has been known to Simon's firm, Syco, for two years, and that he already has a management deal and has been moulded to appeal to the audience. Syco and Sony Music said they would take legal action to "prevent further publication of these unfounded allegations".
The blogger's alleged account of Ronan's "development", which has been circulating on the internet, also claims his hairstyle, clothing and mannerisms have all been choreographed.
Ronan is one of six acts to have already made it through to the ITV1 final, with further acts to be chosen in semi-finals on Thursday and Friday night. He won the viewers' vote on Monday, putting him straight through to the Saturday show.
Syco said in a statement: "There has been speculation on the internet that Britain's Got Talent finalist Ronan Parke was known to and worked with Syco/Sony Music before entering the show. There is no truth in this story whatsoever.
"Ronan first came to Syco/Sony's attention when he entered this year's competition.
"Syco/Sony Music will not hesitate to take whatever legal action is appropriate to prevent further publication of these unfounded allegations."
Meanwhile Ronan and young hopefuls New Bounce have landed a lucrative spot in the Britain's Got Talent live tour, ahead of their appearance in this weekend's final.
The acts are among the first to be announced for the 14-date tour, beginning a week on Saturday.