Was Frankie's departure a publicity stunt?

It's been 48 hours since wild child Frankie Cocozza was booted off the X Factor for breaking a 'Golden Rule', and already the cynics smell a rat.

The Kent teenager was certainly better known for his off-stage antics than his talents, with even mentor Gary Barlow admitting that he was being kept in the contest for reasons other than musical ability.

X Factor viewing figures are down almost two million from last year - with more and more viewers turning over to head-to-head rival Strictly Come Dancing.

But now the X Factor is making the front pages again, and the public will have the chance to vote for an eliminated act to return to the show.

The 'Golden Rule' is supposedly related to Frankie's boasts of cocaine fuelled nights out.

He said: "I'd like to apologise to Gary, my fellow contestants and everyone who has voted for me, but, as of today, I will no longer be in the X Factor.

"My life during the show has gone out of control and my behaviour off stage has over-stepped the rules of the competition. I no longer deserve my place in the show, so I am therefore leaving."

Frankie's behaviour is also being investigated by TV regulator Ofcom.

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