Louis facing BGT fixing accusations
Louis Walsh is in the middle of a 'Britain's Got Talent' fix row after accusations his boy band were "fast-tracked" into the second round.
The music manager and talent show judge's newest group Hometown are said to have been given an easy pass by the panel, with Simon Cowell reportedly doing his colleague a favour by giving the quintet some exposure.
An insider told The Sun newspaper: "It seems like yet another talent show fix."
A music industry executive added: "It looks like fast-tracking. They weren't even that good.
"Louis needs a big favour from Simon to help get them off the ground - and he got one."
After their performance, the 54-year-old star was impressed but joked he was disappointed by the prospect of working with Louis.
He told them: "I don't know what's more annoying - the fact you were good or the fact I might have to work with Louis Walsh again."
However, a spokesperson for the show has insisted the group received "no special treatment", noting that Simon, 54, had no idea Louis was managing the group until after their performance.
They said: "Simon had never met the band and did not know who their manager was until they revealed it on stage after their audition. They got no special treatment."