Britain's Got Talent: Ronan Parke 'stardom' claim denied

Image caption, Ronan Parke is odds-on favourite to win Britain's Got Talent

The mother of a young singer from Norfolk has said there is no truth in a claim that he was groomed for stardom by Simon Cowell.

Ronan Parke, 12, of Poringland, near Norwich, is odds-on favourite to win Britain's Got Talent on Saturday.

An anonymous blogger - who claims to be a Sony music executive - has said that Mr Cowell's firm Syco had been working with Ronan for two years.

Syco, Sony and Ronan Parke's mother Maggie completely deny the allegation.

Mrs Parke said: "It's laughable, to be perfectly honest with you, and it couldn't be further from the truth.

"There's just no foundation in it whatsoever. My friend Susan Gunn told me that she'd seen it on the internet and we just had a laugh about it and didn't think any more about it because it's so untrue."

She said Ronan had applied to the show without his parents' knowledge.

'Nature of life'

"It was just something he really wanted to do. He felt it was the right time for him to apply and the first we heard about it was when we got a phone call from Britain's Got Talent saying he had an audition," she said.

Ronan is one of six acts to have already made it through to the ITV1 final, with further acts to be chosen in semi-finals on Thursday and Friday nights.

He won the viewers' vote on Monday, putting him straight through to the Saturday show.

Asked whether the claims would distract her son, Mrs Parke said: "As far as I'm concerned you're always going to get people that are saying nasty things because that's the nature of life, unfortunately.

"It won't affect Ronan. Ronan's focussed on what he's doing. He knows the truth, we know the truth and certainly Simon Cowell and everybody at Syco knows the truth."

She also denied the blogger's claims that Ronan had received coaching to lose a Norfolk accent.

"He's not got a Norfolk accent, but neither has my other son. He's certainly never had coaching. The only coaching he's had is singing lessons," she said.

Syco said in a statement: "Ronan first came to Syco/Sony's attention when he entered this year's competition.

"Syco/Sony Music will not hesitate to take whatever legal action is appropriate to prevent further publication of these unfounded allegations."

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