Belfast Telegraph

Cowell put-downs spark lawsuit

A Madonna impersonator is suing Britain's Got Talent for £250,000 over Simon Cowell's put-downs.

Philip Grimmer, 57, accused the ITV show of discriminating against his age, disability and sexual orientation.

Cowell branded Mr Grimmer's tribute act as "monstrous" and "horrendous", saying: "Madonna at 95 would look better and dance better than you."

Mr Grimmer claims his exit from the show was unfair dismissal, a spokeswoman for Central London Employment Tribunal said.

He had performed his impersonation of the pop star wearing a purple leotard, knee-high boots and blonde wig.

Mr Grimmer, who is partially deaf, also complains about Ant and Dec introducing him as a "successful drag queen" and "a man who likes dressing up as a woman" in legal papers submitted to the tribunal.

He is demanding £250,000 in damages for lost earnings and injury to feelings after his exit in the show's semi-final.

In legal papers submitted to the Central London Employment Tribunal, Mr Grimmer, from Ilford, said: "I was discriminated against by Simon Cowell and the two presenters Ant and Dec and by one of the assistant producers. I was singled out by these persons and received unfair and worse treatment and comments on the live TV show than other contestants."

A tribunal spokeswoman said: "We received the claim on August 4. His claim was about unfair dismissal, in the remit of employment law, was on the basis that his audition was the equivalent of a job interview."

A Britain's Got Talent spokeswoman said: "We are aware of the claim."

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