AMERICAN IDOL svengali Simon Fuller has distanced himself from claims his teeny-bopper bands encourage child abuse - calling for all paedophiles to be killed.

The 19 MANAGEMENT boss, who is famed for masterminding the Spice Girls' massive success, has attracted criticism for his 'junior' version of S CLUB, S CLUB JUNIORS, as well as a new TV show American Juniors, which pits six-to-12-year olds in competition for a place in new band, the AJs.

However, the single 42-year-old has refuted any suggestions his new programme continues pop's worrying trend in promoting increasingly under-age stars - and calls for merciless treatment of any paedophile, in an interview with Britain's GUARDIAN newspaper.

He says, "The p-word, which I won't even say because it's too horrible, will always be there, whatever you do. They should all be shot. But we're not sexualising them, and we follow very stringent laws."

Fuller believes his programme, which he proudly notes was the "top-rated show in America" when launched last week (10JUN03), deals with youngsters in a proper manner - unlike Britney Spears' 12-year-old sister JAMIE LYNN, who he brands a "naughty little minx".

He says, "It's nowhere near as sexy as Britney Spears's little sister, the naughty little minx. I'm not interested in trashy celebrity. I want to be at the epicentre of youth culture for as long as I care to continue working."

16/06/2003 13:54