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 who claims to be a Sony Music executive alleges that the youngster has been known to Cowell's firm, Syco, for two years, and that he already has a management deal and has been moulded to appeal to the audience.
The blogger's alleged account of Ronan's "development", which has been circulating on the internet, also claims that 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 nights. He won the viewers' vote on Monday, putting him straight through to the Saturday show.
Syco and Sony Music said they would take legal action to "prevent further publication of these unfounded allegations".
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."
Ronan's mother Maggie also dismissed the claims. The blog had claimed he was auditioned by talent scouts who had spotted him performing at a birthday party for family friend Bryan Gunn, the former Norwich City goalkeeper.
Speaking to BBC Radio Norfolk this afternoon, she said: "It's laughable, to be perfectly honest with you, and it couldn't be further from the truth. There's no foundation in it whatsoever."
She continued: "Myself and my husband didn't even know that he'd applied. It was just something that he really wanted to do. He felt it was the right time for him to apply and the first we heard of it was when we got a phone call from Britain's Got Talent to say he'd got an audition."