Britain's Got Talent star Fred's anger
Britain's Got Talent star Fred Bowers says he has done "nothing wrong" after it emerged he has been claiming disability benefits while break-dancing.
The 73-year-old performed his body-popping routine for millions of viewers on the hit ITV show last week but has been reported to the Department of Works and Pensions.
Mr Bowers, a cult figure in Loughborough where he dances in nightclubs seven nights a week, is claiming £70 a week in Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for a bad left leg and nearly £50 a month from the Government-funded Motability to pay for a car.
Mr Bowers, of Sutton Bonington, near Loughborough, believes his claims are legitimate but pledged to pay back any money if the probe finds he has done anything wrong.
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The former soldier and gardener has a blood circulation problem in his leg and says the dancing, which he started five years ago, is exercise that helps the condition.
He said: "I know what people are thinking but I have not done anything wrong. There's been no fiddle.
"To get the disability benefits you need information from your doctor. My doctor recommended I do the dancing.
"I cannot walk very far but I can dance. People will see my routine and realise I don't use my legs much. It's mainly back work. It's not break-dancing like the young people do – I've developed my own style that suits my age and my condition.
"Part of the reason I went on Britain's Got Talent is to show that older and disabled people can do something amazing even if they have physical problems like I do.
"The dancing helps my leg. I just think someone on my street got jealous of me going on the show and reported me." Mr Bowers said he expected to hear the result of the investigation in around 11 weeks.
He said: "If something is found not to be right I'll pay back what I owe. "
He said one of his main worries was being booted off the show. He said: "I just want to entertain people but I am concerned they might not want me on the show anymore. I phoned them and they said it would be fine."
He was due to return to the studio today for rehearsals for tomorrow's semi-final in the £100,000 contest. Mr Bowers' car has also been vandalised, which he also put down to jealousy.
A Department of Works and Pensions spokeswoman said she could not comment on Mr Bowers' individual case. She added: "We take all allegations seriously. It is however possible that someone can claim DLA and do something active."
Mr Bowers, who has more than 1,000 fans on a Facebook page, dances each week at Wild and Vice Versa clubs in Loughborough and at the university's Students' Union.
Union president David Goss said: "He's something of a local legend. We see him every Friday night at the union doing his dancing and he's great. I'd be very surprised if he's found to have done anything wrong."
A Britain's Got Talent spokesman said they would not be commenting on the issue.