X-Rated X Factor

Apart from the usual tabloid nonsense about judges bickering behind the scenes, this year’s “X Factor” finale made headlines because the show was “too raunchy.”

The performances of U.S. pop stars Christina Aguilera and Rihanna resulted in communications watchdog Ofcom receiving thousands of complaints because they were what one BBC Radio 5 phone-in listener described as being “close to pornographic.”

The Daily Mirror reported that ITV started an investigation after receiving 5,000 complaints from viewers, making it the most controversial show in the channel’s history.

Lynne Featherstone, a junior Home Office minister with responsibility for equality, said the sexualised routines were unsuitable for the show’s legions of young fans.

In the UK, TV broadcasters tend not to broadcast shows with any sort of sexual content until after 9 p.m.

Featherstone, a mother of two, said “X Factor” bosses should have made the pre-watershed performances by American acts “less raunchy.”

The new “X Factor” winner is Matt Cardle, a painter and decorator from Essex, who may have stolen the show by taking part in the raunchy duet with Rihanna.

He beat Liverpudlian Rebecca Ferguson and teenage boy band One Direction, which earlier in the week made headlines because of a crowd crush at the act’s a free outdoor show in Wolverhampton.

Although 35 of the 4,000 or so fans who turned up to the city’s Queen Square suffered injuries of some kind, it turned out it wasn’t quite the health and safety disaster the early headlines indicated.

An ambulance spokesman said most of those were due to “the effects of the cold and over-excitement.”

Some of the fans who turned out to watch One Direction perform in scenes filmed for the ITV1 show apparently stood around for hours in cold weather and not eating properly.

At one point, security guards pulled out over-excited fans from the crush of people at the front but none was reported to need medical treatment.