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Ofcom investigates X-Factor debacle

'Please try again later'

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Media watchdog Ofcom today confirmed that it will be investigating more than 2,000 complaints it has received from X Factor fans who have been crying into their beer mulled wine Bacardi Breezers after Welsh opera-singer Rhydian Roberts lost out to surprise victor Leon Jackson.

A row kicked off immediately after the live final aired on ITV1's X Factor last Saturday, with fans complaining that phone lines were jammed preventing them from registering their vote for wide-eyed, white-haired warbler Rhydian.

An Ofcom spokeswoman told El Reg that it had decided to look into the 2,400 grumbles it had received so far - "not in response to the volume of complaints" but because, it said, the debacle "was perceived as worthy of investigation".

When asked, the regulator was unable to comment further on what evidence it may have to justify stepping into the, ahem, talent show row.

According to ITV, around seven million X Factor fans voted in the final which apparently went down to the wire, with presenter Dermot O'Leary using what's becoming a well-worn phrase in reality shows by telling viewers: "There's only one per cent between the finalists, so every vote counts."

However, many fans complained that a telephone vote for Rhydian was never cast and that instead they were greeted with a message that said: "Sorry, but there is a high demand for the number you have dialled – please try again later."

Fans protested that the jammed phone lines left the door wide open for Scottish teenager Leon to take the X Factor crown and subsequent Woolies' bargain bin. ®

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