Last updated at 4:42 PM on 3rd June 2011
- Furious Cowell calls in police to investigate the internet blog
Ronan Parke has spoken out today to deny extraordinary allegations that Britain's Got Talent has been fixed by Simon Cowell.
The talent show has been thrown into chaos over the claims, fiercely denied by Cowell’s production company Syco, which centre on 12-year-old Ronan, who is the bookmakers’ favourite to win the final tomorrow night.
An anonymous internet blog, unsubstantiated but claiming to be written by a Sony BMG executive, alleges that Syco talent-spotted Ronan two years ago – in direct contravention of show rules – and has fixed it for him to win.
Denial: Ronan Parke tells ITV News that he'd never met Simon Cowell amid allegations that Syco have been rigging the contest so he could win
The 2,500-word assault on Syco
describes its alleged ‘manipulation of, not only the show and the
contestants, but also the viewing public’.
Last night, appalled Cowell called in Scotland Yard making an official complaint about the malicious campaign to officers.
A member of his production company visited a west London police station last night.
Syco, a division of Sony BMG, issued a categoric denial and said it wanted police to investigate what it says is ‘harassment’ of Ronan.
And today Ronan himself denied the claims, saying: 'I've never met Simon in my life. I'd love to, but I never have.
'I've been coached by the same teacher in Norwich that we've paid for. No one's paid for my clothes or anything.
'It's really silly that people think that. They're just jealous that people are having a good time.'
He added: ‘I think it's great that Simon Cowell has put in the effort to get the police involved and everything and I'm happy they've said it's not true because it's definitely not.’
Syco's lawyers also successfully managed to have the blog, which promised to ‘shine some light on the smoke and mirrors trickery of Syco’, taken off the JustPaste.It website. However, it received 139,166 views before it was removed.
Cowell’s people were quick to say there was ‘no truth’ to the claims but sources said there was no doubt this was a well-thought-out attack on the show.
Syco, which also co-produces the ITV show, put out a statement saying the talented youngster came to its attention only when he auditioned for the programme in London earlier this year.
However, the blog claimed Syco scouts spotted Ronan in 2009 performing at a birthday party for family friend Bryan Gunn, the former Norwich City goalkeeper.
The fact he sang at the party initially seemed to be confirmed by Mr Gunn to BBC Radio Five Live but then his wife Susan issued a statement which said: ‘The only time we have heard Ronan sing is at small gatherings with our two families.
‘He has only been having singing lessons for two years. Where this has come from I don’t know. It is libellous and lies. When I read it, I was really, really cross. It is just preposterous. This stuff about a 12-year-old boy is just sick.’
Scroll down to watch a video of Ronan's first audition
Under fire: The show has been hit by allegations it is 'rigged'
Ronan’s mother Maggie, 52, also dismissed the claims, saying her son’s first contact with the show came when he applied online.
Mrs Parke told BBC Radio Norfolk said: ‘It’s laughable and it couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s no foundation in it whatsoever.
‘Myself and my husband didn’t even know that he’d applied. The first we heard of it was when we got a phone call to say he’d got an audition.’
The judges : Michael McIntyre, David Hasselhoff, Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell
Ronan, described as Norfolk’s answer to Canadian teenage chart sensation Justin Bieber, is one of six acts to have already made it through to the ITV1 final, with further acts to be chosen tonight before tomorrow’s live final.
He stunned the judges by singing Nina Simone’s Feeling Good at his audition, before belting out Make You Feel My Love by chart star Adele at his semi-final this week.
However, yesterday there was a fierce denial from Syco of any wrongdoing. A spokesman said: ‘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.’
As well as preparing to involve police Syco alerted the Press Complaints Commission to the matter saying publication of certain aspects of the claims could breach the code to which newspapers adhere.
There are many ways to cover your tracks when sending emails or posting items on the internet.
Among the most obvious are creating a false email account to hide your identity and going into an internet café to conceal which computer it was sent from.
But there are also more advanced services on the web that allow you to send anonymous emails.
Some allow you to send your email through random ‘nodes’ making it impossible to trace.
Some even wait for a period of time before sending on the message, making it less likely the sender could be linked to the time it was originally sent.
There are various ways of accessing the internet anonymously.
This includes changing your IP address, which involves removing your modem, leaving it for about half an hour and putting it back in. This generates a new address.
Those trying to avoid detection could also use a ‘proxy server’ which masks people’s IP address with another.
It is hardly a household name in the world of internet communication in the same way as Facebook or Twitter.
But yesterday thousands were logging on to the website JustPaste.It to read the explosive claims being made about Britain’s Got Talent and this year’s favourite Ronan Parke.
It was an unusual place to make the claims, given the use of Twitter in recent weeks in the controversy over celebrity super-injunctions. But many were redirected via Twitter to the website.
JustPaste.It is described by experts as a simple note-sharing service where users can post whatever they want. It can work as a word processor and also allows users to insert video or pictures.
When users ‘publish’ it creates a unique address for the item to share with others.
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The comments below have been moderated in advance.
Simon Cowell has a boss, whether he admits it or not. His name is Howard Stringer. He is the CEO of Sony Music, which is headquartered in New York. Syco Music is a division of Sony Music. Rather than trying to turn a purely civil matter into a criminal one, perhaps Simon Cowell should ask his boss, Howard Stringer, to straighten this out.
- Jeff, Durham, 03/6/2011 15:48
Once something is live on the internet you can't stop it, they may try to stop "justpaste.it" but like a virus it replicates and now the BGT blog is all over ******** and spreading.
- Wise Words, Cyberspace, 03/6/2011 15:47
The thing is though.... he isn't even that good!
- Tim, Taunton, 03/6/2011 15:46
I don't understand how, with a shy boy like Ronan, his parents were 'COMPLETELY UNAWARE' that he had entered BGT until they recieved a phone call from BGT with an audition slot. VERY ODD!!
- freddy, dartford, 03/6/2011 15:42
Don't these children go to school anymore? - Jessand, Putney, SW London, 3/6/2011 1:32 ######## Give them a break, it's school holidays this week so he can do what he likes, i'm sure he will be back in the classroom come monday when this is all finished on saturday.
- Jen, London, 03/6/2011 15:42
Well, if he wasn't going to win it before ........... he is now. Clever Simon.
- Jimbo, Lincolnshire UK, 03/6/2011 15:39
The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.
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