III/ Max Factor

And what of Max Clifford, the famed PR mastermind who failed to protect his own reputation? How could someone so ruthlessly committed to burying bad news, who spent his entire career making problems like this disappear, end up dying in such disgrace in prison? In more ways than one, he only had himself to blame…

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II/ Defective Inspector

Before he signed on with Simon Cowell to make The Investigator, Mark Williams-Thomas was best known as the man who took down Jimmy Savile. Initially it brought him all the attention he could have hoped for – but, as he’s been finding out this year, not all attention is good attention…

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I/ Arrest & Repertoire

For a man who has enjoyed as much success as he has, Simon Cowell has made some astonishingly bad decisions in his career. But even worse than the acts that he’s chosen to sign? The men he’s chosen to do business with…

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Syco Paths

One of Simon Cowell’s most recent productions is a true-crime series hosted by the ex-police officer best known for taking down Jimmy Savile, Mark Williams-Thomas. They’re hardly the Watson and Holmes of our day, but their true-crime series The Investigator is interesting stuff. Not because of what it covers, necessarily – but because of how it came about…

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IV/ Strike Three

InfoWars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has a long and inglorious history of branding school shootings as staged hoaxes – but this time around the view that the kids at the centre of it are deep state stooges isn’t just a crazed fringe opinion. It’s started going mainstream…

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II/ The Name Of The Scientist

NBC was all but ready to cancel The Apprentice in 2007, but the Writers Guild strike of the same year gave NBC boss Jeff Zucker pause for thought. Cancelling a cheap, script-free reality show in advance of a multi-million dollar strike? It must have felt like a no-brainer to recommission it – but little did Zucker know that, in doing so, he was creating a monster…

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Finding The Value Of X

The X Factor often gets accused of being formulaic, but if that was really the case they wouldn’t need to waste so much of everybody’s time with auditions and bootcamps and the like. So we’ve tried to figure it out. We did some deep statistical analysis on the contest’s winners and now we’re ready to save Simon Cowell some serious man hours…

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JB, Or Not JB?

Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini has been famous for precisely 19 months. In all that time, have you ever heard him speak? Ever heard him give an interview? Us neither. Yet for someone who speaks so little, he seems to find himself quoted in the media an awful lot…

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The Axe Factor

Ten years after getting six million votes in The X Factor final, Steve Brookstein (the man who got six million votes in The X Factor) finally releases his tell-all book in which he reveals exactly what it’s like to get six million votes in The X Factor final. And also to have the entire UK media conspire against you.

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Raking Over Old Coles

Even the most ardent Cheryl Cole fan had to admit that there was something a little fishy about her recent nuptials, but that’s the trouble when your entire life becomes one long media narrative. No-one trusts you any more. And when they don’t trust you, you start to invite the strangest speculation…

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