Even by the low standards of the X Factor, pretending you don't know who your real family is to stay in the programme is a bit low. But that's what Alan Turner (not the portly manager of NY Estates' Beckindale office) did, throwing himself on the mercy of the judges:
He told the judges: 'As much as I love my foster parent for all she has done, I want to get to know my real family. I would just love it if they were to get in touch with me and to say they did want to see me.
'I know it sounds a bit corny but I just want a real family - to know my real mum and real dad and just for them to say we love you no matter what.'
And, of course, the best way to do that would be, erm, to have the Christmas number one single and a couple of walk-on parts in Woolworths ads sometimes towards the back end of 2009.
This, though, came as something of a surprise to his Dad - also called Alan Turner, and also nothing to do with farm manger-turned-publican:
'Over the years that have gone by I have seen him and spent time with him. We have the photographs to prove it. I have always said to him that if you ever need to see me or speak to me then I am here.
Of course, ITV would never want to mislead its audience. Unless there's some cash to be made. The X Factor explains:
'As far as we're concerned Alan has not deceived us and this does not affect his place within the show.'
Although, interestingly, an off-the-record programme source has it slightly differently:
So it's that sort of not-really-a-lie lie, then. Perhaps it would be safer if contestants concentrated on the singing rather than backstories.
Still, it's a happy outcome - Alan Jr wanted his dad to play a bigger role in his life, and now Alan senior is doing so by telling the papers that his son is a liar. Nice to see a happy ending, isn't it?