X Factor viewers complain about voting linesOfcom received 700 complaints

19 December 2007

A close-up of a telephone cord a man is using to make a call.

More than 700 viewers have complained to Ofcom about voting problems during the X Factor final.

Fans are furious that they could not get through on Saturday night and many believe the result was fixed in favour of eventual winner Leon Jackson.

Most of the complainants are fans of Rhydian Roberts, who was favourite throughout the series but ended up in second place.

Result

The Welsh singer reckons he was robbed of the prize, according to his father.

Malcolm Roberts told The Sun: 'Rhyd's not a bad loser but he feels the same as us about the result - and we think it's a fix.

'He believes it's possible he was stitched up. He's disappointed for himself and his fans.'

The controversy is threatening to overshadow Leon's bid for the Christmas number one spot.

Engaged tone

The 18-year-old Scot told London radio station LBC 97.3 FM today: 'On the night, I just went out and did my best. You never know how the public is voting and that aspect is out of my hands.

'On a show like this, there is always a large volume of calls, so you never know what the truth is. I just hope I did my best for everybody and hope I can continue that.'

Some Leon fans also reported that their calls were met with an engaged tone when they tried to register their vote.

High call volume

An X Factor spokeswoman insisted the result was not rigged but said some viewers did experience difficulty getting through due to high call volume.

'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,' the spokeswoman said.

'Phone lines were monitored throughout the night and there were no issues on voting lines.

'We do get a huge surge of calls and depending on phone operators some callers may have experienced an engaged tone or network busy message and therefore may have to call back, but these calls should not be charged.'

Leon's mother Wendy Jackson has hit back at claims of voting irregularities.

She told Glasgow-based Real Radio: 'I think it's just a lot of rubbish because on Saturday night I had a lot of people texting me they couldn't get through on the lines for Leon - the lines were absolutely jammed.

'I even had one person tell me they had tried 300 times to get through to Leon on the landline and they couldn't get through - so it's not just the Welsh folk that the lines were jammed, the Scottish ones were as well.'

She added: 'I think it's been a fair competition and because Rhydian was the favourite all the way through that's why his family's upset, because he didn't win it.'

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