On the naughty step - Conduct that deserves a ticking off

18th November 2011 at 00:00

This week: Simon Cowell

It's a poor state of events when Simon Cowell, master of the put-down and the stern stare, hero to thousands of teachers who each day must quash Year 9's "passion" for musical stardom during period-three geography, is put on the naughty step.

But here he is, staring disconsolately at his feet, after a squabble with an education charity. The dispute arose after a girl group on The X-Factor decided to call themselves Rhythmix, and Simco - Mr Cowell's entertainment company - made an application to trademark the name in Europe. However, Rhythmix was already the name of a charity that has helped 40,000 young people across the South East create and perform music.

Mark Davyd, chief executive of Rhythmix, launched a social media campaign calling for the application to be withdrawn. Although the group renamed themselves Little Mix, it took a month of pressure for Simco to drop the application, saying it was not intending to use the name at any time in the future.

Rhythmix claims the dispute has cost it #163;8,000 in legal fees and is now asking supporters to help raise money to pay the bill.

While he is on the naughty step, Mr Cowell can mull over this and the other mishaps plaguing The X-Factor this year - contestants booted out, power cuts during the show and bickering judges. In fact, given what is happening off the step he may opt to stay there just a little longer.

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