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Revealed: How local newspaper took on The X Factor and won

A children’s charity won its legal battle with The X Factor over the name of the show’s winning act with help from a weekly newspaper.

Girl band Little Mix, who won the final of the singing contest at the weekend, were originally called Rhythmix, a name already taken by the charity which uses music to help vulnerable children.

The charity, who had previously been told by X Factor bosses  to ‘like it or lump it’ were prompted to fight for their name after reading a blog by Chris Britcher, news and sports editor of Archant KOS Media titles including Kent on Sunday.

The band’s name changed in October but the newspaper has only now decided to publicise the story after it received a thank you letter from the charity.

In his blog that was re-tweeted across the country, Chris wrote: “Once, when you put Rhythmix into Google the charity got top billing. Already, it is beginning to collapse under the X Factor hype. Now you have to wade through headlines about the show and You Tube clips before the charity and its sterling efforts appear.

“Yet we should not just forget the charity’s efforts. We should not just let X Factor swat them to one side like an irritating fly.

“Rhythmix – the charity – deserves not to be forgotten…and it is still not too late for X Factor bosses to wake up to what they are doing and simply choose another name for the girl group.”

This week Mark Davyd, the charity’s chief executive, sent a letter to Chris to thank him for his inspiring blog which led to the legal battle that eventually saw Simon Cowell back down and agree to make a donation of around £20,000 to Rhythmix to cover their legal costs.

He wrote: “Chris, you won’t know this, but on the day you published your blog piece ‘Why The X Factor needs to think again’ I was under a huge amount of pressure to bow down to the X Factor and just give in.

“The team was in meltdown, the press were hounding everybody, and we were being made to take a decision about whether to lose the name and all the goodwill or stand up for ourselves and invest time and money into fighting them.

“Nearly everybody on a professional level was telling us to take a deal that basically gave them the name and left us absolutely shafted.

“And then we saw your article. And I said, you know what, if this guy can see what’s wrong here, maybe everybody can see what’s wrong here, and maybe just once the little guy doesn’t have to give in.

Added David: “We’re delighted to see that public pressure has finally forced X Factor to see sense over this issue and to change the name of the band.”