Take That changed their song at the last-minute on The X Factor final following a dispute with Simon Cowell, it has been claimed.
The band had planned to sing with 50 backing dancers dressed as riot police.
But show boss Simon is said to have decided the costumes were “inappropriate”, coming so soon after the clashes between police and students over university tuition fee increases.
A source confirmed reports that Take That backed down after the band initially said they would rather pull out of the show than drop the routine.
The band performed their recent single The Flood instead of new track Kidz.
An insider said: “Simon told Take That it was insensitive and inappropriate and asked them to change things.”
A spokesman for the band said: “Take That switched their performance from the song Kidz (taken from their new album Progress) to The Flood.
“It was decided after (the) afternoon’s rehearsals that the timing and content of the performance was not appropriate so soon after the violence that erupted at protests in London”.
The spokesman added: “The band instead decided to close the series performing their current single The Flood”.