ITV has suspended its premium interactive services following the overcharging of thousands of voters on the last series of The X Factor.

The broadcaster admitted on Friday that it had overcharged voters using the red button during the 2006 series of the talent show, cumulatively taking an extra £200,000 from the show.

Having paid that amount to charity and offered a refund to all those who voted on the show, today ITV suspended its premium interactive services altogether.

It said it had appointed auditing giant Deloitte to scrutinise its interactive elements, both retrospectively and in order to check its current procedures were "robust".

"We believe that all programmes currently on air are compliant. However, in light of recent concern around this issue, something affecting every major broadcaster, we are conducting this independent review to ensure that ITV is meeting all relevant codes and regulations," John Cresswell, ITV's chief operating officer, said.

"We expect the review of current programmes to be both swift and thorough. The retrospective review will take longer due to the greater number of programmes involved," he added.

Interactive elements will be returned on a programme-by-programme basis as they are audited and passed scrutiny, ITV said.

Channel 4 and the BBC both face inquiries on similar issues from regulator Icstis, which is investigating the You Say, We Pay feature on Channel 4's Richard and Judy programme and the BBC's Saturday Kitchen.


05/03/2007 17:50:55