Simon Cowell and producers of The X Factor have decided to go to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) over allegations levelled by Heat magazine that Cowell used knowledge of viewer votes to manipulate the programme.
Cowell has reportedly approached his lawyers and asked them to lodge a complaint with the PCC over a story in this week's Heat, headlined "X Factor Conspiracy Theories: The Truth".
The piece published in the magazine claimed that the series was being "fixed" in order to maximise ratings and favour certain contestants and that Cowell was aware of the results of the crucial weekly viewers' poll in advance.
Reacting against the allegations, a source close to Cowell told the Guardian the talent show judge was always keen to make sure the show was as fair as possible, and such accusations of fixing the vote were too much for him. In order to put a stop to the rumours, Simon had decided to take his case to the PCC, the source added.
Reportedly, litigation specialists Carter-Ruck have been instructed by Cowell and The X Factor to file a complaint with the PCC over the Heat story.
However, Heat publisher Bauer Media said they had not yet heard anything from the PCC.