LONDON, April 27 (UPI) -- A Belfast man is accusing "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell
of stealing his idea for a new show called "The X Factor," Britain's The Sun said Tuesday.
Similar to "Popstars," the new British television show will feature hopefuls whose performances are judged by Cowell, ex-Spice Girl Mel B and Louis Walsh.
However, Paul Tinney, 39, claims he came up with the idea three years ago and has since invested nearly $200,000 developing the show, going so far as to hire a top London design agency to create a logo, The Sun said.
"I've invested three years of my life, not to mention a substantial sum of money, into 'The X Factor,'" Tinney complained. "I was stunned to learn that Simon Cowell had this 'new' idea because it is a carbon copy of mine. I have instructed my solicitors."
But Max Clifford, Cowell's publicist, insisted there is no merit to Tinney's claims.
"This whole thing was thoroughly researched and checked out by lawyers," he said.