Simon Cowell says X Factor will have to be toned down

X Factor supremo Simon Cowell says his flagship ITV talent show will have to be toned down following complaints last year that it was over-sexualised.

Last December viewers were left horrified at sexually provocative dance routines by two pop stars on the show aired during family primetime. Thousands of people complained.

Now Mr Cowell, who created the show, has said he will “tone it down a bit”.


Responding to the comments, an Ofcom spokesman said: “We have been holding talks over the summer ramming home the point that we don’t want to see things like this again.

“We want to make sure that during family primetime shows, people are very much in safe territory and sticking to the rules.”

In April Ofcom deemed one of the dances, by Christina Aguilera, as “the very margin of acceptability for broadcast”.


Ofcom said the show featured costumes which “were revealing, with limited coverage of the buttocks, and were of a sexualised nature because they were based on lingerie such as basques, stockings and suspenders”.

But despite admitting that the “overtly sexual” performance was “clearly capable of causing offence to some viewers”, Ofcom said the raunchy dance routines were justified by its context, as the song was drawn from the film Burlesque, in which Miss Aguilera starred.

The performance, which prompted over 2,800 complaints, was watched by 14 million viewers, including one million children, in December 2010.


ITV was cleared of breaching the regulator’s rules on causing offence and the protection of children.

However at the time Ofcom announced it would issue new taste and decency guidelines to broadcasters of family entertainment shows.

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