Viewers unhappy as X Factor airs sexually explicit routine

ITV’s X Factor is facing viewers’ complaints over a sexually provocative routine by a performer which the broadcaster was warned about last year.

The performance – from Lorna Bliss – included her effectively performing a lap dance on one of the judges.

The Britney Spears impersonator, who appeared on Sunday’s show before the 9pm watershed, was dancing in a extremely revealing outfit.


Last year, after she appeared on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent with a similar performance, the official watchdog – Ofcom – decided that her routine raised “potential issues”.

Ofcom, which regulates TV and radio, also met with ITV to remind it of the rules on pre-watershed television.

Now the regulator is assessing the complaints about Lorna Bliss’ X Factor performance to see if further investigation is necessary.

ITV says the performance was “provocative”, but denies it was unsuitable for the audience.


Last year Ofcom released new guidance for broadcasters which warned against scantily clad singers and dancers appearing on TV before the watershed.

Ofcom said before 9pm it “would not expect to see singers and dancers wearing clothing that does not adequately cover their bodies (in particular their breasts, genital area and buttocks)”.

It followed a furore over a sexually provocative dance on 2010’s X Factor final.

Toned down

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

The watchdog 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”.

In September 2011 Simon Cowell, who created the X Factor, said it would have to be toned down following complaints.