The band insist they did not know new member Johnny Shentall, even though he's reported to have danced onstage with them...

Hear’Say have struck back at claims that the search to find a replacement for former member KYM MARSH was a fix.

Johnny Shentall was picked out from 5,000 hopefuls who queued for hours on Sunday morning (February 3) hoping for a crack at fame.

But the whole procedure has been labelled a stunt by some fans and UK newspapers after it emerged that Shentall was engaged to Lisa Scott-Lee, formerly of Steps, and that he used to be a member of chart outfit Boom!. It had also been suggested he performed onstage with Hear’Say as a dancer.

A statement from Hear’Say‘s solicitor sought to play down the fix accusations, and added that the auditions were “open and anybody could apply”.

The decision to appoint Johnny was made “at the end of the auditions and was unanimous” they added. They also said that not “one member of Hear’Say or their management knew Johnny personally. The whole audition was filmed by ITV2. When that film is broadcast, it will be seen that the selection process was fair to everyone.”