Simon Cowell admits X Factor judges were paid too much

Simon Cowell has admitted that X Factor judges were paid too much. The 62-year-old, who starred as head judge on the ITV show, described the salaries as “too crazy”.

The X Factor launched onto ITV in 2004, running for 15 series, when it was axed by the channel. Stars including Robbie Williams, Cheryl Cole, Dannii Minogue and Nicole Scherzinger appeared on the judging panel over the years.

Simon starred as head judge on and off, with Gary Barlow taking over the role for several seasons. However, viewing figures began to decline and the main programme was shelved in 2018, with a celebrity version airing the following year.

READ MORE: Where every ITV Britain’s Got Talent judge is now – on-air bust-ups with co-stars and axed after a week

Speaking ahead of Britain’s Got Talent’s return next weekend, Simon admits he made some mistakes with The X Factor. Reflecting on his time on the former Saturday night talent show, he told The Sun: “The salaries got out of whack.”

He continued: “I’d be a hypocrite if I said I hadn’t made a lot of money. But it got too crazy. And, going back to The X Factor, I’m not even sure artists should be judging other artists. I think it’s in their DNA to want to find a star.”

The X Factor produced some of the UK’s biggest stars, including One Direction, Little Mix, Olly Murs, JLS and Leona Lewis. However, Simon thinks that the show would need a total shakeup if it were ever to return to screens.

He explained: It’s a tricky one but there are hundreds of people who still want to be pop stars. We’d have to go back to basics. The other thing we did with the show was to keep tinkering with it, adding new formats.

“When we first started the show it was very simple with unique elements. I’d argue you can’t make a better music show than that.

“I have an expression though — if you’re going to go to a party, have an invitation. You want to feel people are excited at the thought of The X Factor returning.”

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