Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

TV & Radio

Ofcom watershed warning to X Factor

Talent shows like the X Factor have been warned about showing "sexualised clothing and dance routines" by communications watchdog Ofcom.

A new report cites the show's 2010 final which featured Christina Aguilera and her backing dancers in a racy routine Ofcom described as "at the very margin of acceptability" after thousands of viewers complained.

US singer Aguilera donned a short black dress while her female dancers, who were bent over chairs, wore suspenders, bra tops, fishnet stockings and basques in the raunchy routine which was estimated to have been watched by more than one million children.

The watchdog has held a series of meetings with broadcasters and issued new guidance on "protecting" under-18s and "observing" the 9pm watershed.

It asked broadcasters to pay particular attention to programmes shown before and soon after the watershed and music videos shown before 9pm.

The report states "particular caution" is needed for family shows that continue through the watershed "as the family audience is still likely to remain viewing the programme".

It goes on: "In the entertainment and talent genres, particular areas of concern include the sexualised clothing and dance routines of performers and/or guest artistes".

Speaking earlier this month, X Factor supremo Simon Cowell said the show will be toned "down a bit" after "the reaction" to last year's final.

The report also warns broadcasters "to ensure that children are protected by appropriate scheduling" of music videos.

It highlights the "Urban and R&B genres in particular" which it says are "well known for including mild sexual content and innuendo".