Cowell made desperate call to columnist over ‘X Factor’ axing fear

Updated: Oct 18, 2011, 18:44 PM IST

London: Music Mogul Simon Cowell made a desperate panic phone call to a newspaper columnist after the writer joked that ‘The X Factor’ bosses were planning to sack him from the U.S. version of the show.

Kelvin MacKenzie, a former editor of ‘The Sun’, wrote a small item in his newspaper column praising ‘Take That’ star Gary Barlow after he took over Cowell’s role as a judge on the programme. MacKenzie also questioned Cowell’s future on the U.S. version of the show.

Cowell, 52, was so concerned by the throwaway comment that he called MacKenzie and demanded to know if the journalist had inside information on plans for the American X Factor.

“He called me because I wrote a piece that indicated that Gary Barlow was fantastic - which I seriously believe - and that Simon Cowell might get the bullet (fired) in L.A. to get a younger version in. It was just an observation,” the Daily Express quoted MacKenzie as telling ‘This Morning’.

“He called up to ask me whether I knew something that he didn’t know! I pointed out I’m a columnist, I don’t know anything. I’m just speculating. I said, ‘You’re an actor-manager, there will come a moment for you, Simon, when you have to decide to sack yourself’,” he added.

ANI