Ex-Spice Girls boss eyes Idol bid

Simon Fuller Simon Fuller is said to be working with an ex-Barclays Capital banker on the bid

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Ex-Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller is leading a consortium bidding to buy the company that owns the rights to hit TV show American Idol.

A company owned by Mr Fuller created the Idol franchise but was sold to CKX Inc in 2005.

Now he is heading a group of investors reported to be offering $600m for CKX.

American Idol has run for nine years and produced stars including Kelly Clarkson, Kris Allen and Taylor Hicks.

Dwindling audience

Other assets held by CKX include the rights to the name, image and likeness of Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali.

Earlier this month, CKX's founder, chairman and chief executive Robert FX Sillerman resigned and said he was considering buying the company.

His 21% stake makes him its largest shareholder.

The Wall Street Journal said former Barclays Capital banker Roger Jenkins was one of the investors joining Mr Fuller in the CKX bid.

American Idol is the US's most-watched TV series however viewing figures have been shrinking since its 2005 peak when it averaged more than 30 million weekly viewers.

In April last year, the show attracted 22.3 million viewers.

The latest series of finished recently and was the last to feature controversial judge Simon Cowell.

Mr Cowell is taking British show The X Factor to Fox TV.

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