Media watchdog Ofcom is to investigate 80 complaints about the result of the final of The X Factor, in which outsider Leon Jackson, 18, beat hot favourite Rhydian Roberts, 25.
Rhydian’s own family are claiming the result is a ‘fix’ as many people claim they weren’t able to get through on the voting phonelines.
If irregularities are proved it will cap a disastrous year of TV phone-in scandals which began in February with Channel 4’s You Say, We Pay competition on the Richard and Judy Show.
But producers of The X Factor, Talkback Thames, deny any problem with phone voting during the final, apart from the sheer volume of calls which meant at some peak times prospective voters would only have got an engaged tone.
“As all numbers go through to the same lines and vote platform, it is impossible for there to be any bias in favour or against a particular contestant,” a spokeswoman said.
X Factor fan Sylvia Wardley told The Sun: ‘Between six of us we tried to vote for Rhydian 55 times, but only got through twice. We tried Leon and got through straight away.”
Rhydian’s father Malcolm, 60, said: “Rhyd’s not a bad loser, but he feels the same as us about the result – and we think it’s fix. He believes it’s possible he was stitched up. He’s disappointed for himself and his fans.”