Sharon Osbourne says Simon Cowell 'begged' her to stay on 'The X Factor'

Sharon Osbourne (Credit: PA)
Sharon Osbourne (Credit: PA)

Sharon Osbourne has said that Simon Cowell ‘begged’ her to stay on The X Factor, but that the show’s bosses had the final say in giving her the push.

Osbourne was binned from appearing as a judge on the live shows – she was set to fill in for an on-tour Robbie Williams – after an explosive interview with US radio DJ Howard Stern.

In it, she called the show ‘f**king karaoke’, the contestants ‘little s**ts’, and slated Cowell personally, saying she’d tie a ‘brick around his neck’ if they were on a sinking ship.

But despite the barrage of personal insults, she claims that Cowell still wanted her back.

“We spoke, and he said, ‘Darling I really don’t want you to go, I want you to stay. It’s going to be so much fun’,” she told The Sun.

“I said, ‘Simon, you really don’t want me back’, but he was insistent. He had this idea that I would be there to critique the judges, saying, ‘Oh Robbie, I don’t think you’ve chosen the right song for your artist’ or whatever.

(Credit: Tom Dymond/Syco/Thames TV)
(Credit: Tom Dymond/Syco/Thames TV)

“I don’t know Louis well, but I know Robbie [Williams] and Ayda [Field] and they’re great people, so how awkward would that be? It would be like, ‘What the f**k is she doing on this?’

“So I said to Simon, ‘Let’s leave it for a week and see how we feel.”’

Sadly, show bosses were not up for it.

“They said, ‘We’re very upset about it’ and I said, ‘I’m sure you are, but you know the context of what it is’,” she said.

“Anyway, I said do whatever you want, but just let me know. Then, about eight days after that, they called again to say, ‘We don’t think it’s going to work’.”

She also denied rumours – started by Stern – that she’d been ‘paid off’ to keep quiet about the row.

“I’m not going to be quiet for anyone. I’m at the age where I have earned the right to say what I want,” she said.

“I’m not running for Parliament and if I offend people, fine, then don’t listen, don’t read,” she says with a shrug.

“They say there’s three sides to every story — their side, your side and the truth. Well, here’s my side. I have nothing to hide.”

As for the insults towards Cowell and the show, she said that she’d spoken to Cowell since, and that he didn’t mind at all.

“Did I mean it all literally? No. Am I going to tie a brick around Simon’s neck? I don’t think so! Are the contestants little s**ts? Of course not. I was just being a precocious child,” she said.

“Howard’s show is very irreverent and everyone in America knows that you’re going to get bad language and hear outrageous things. Simon knows it too.

“He just said, ‘I don’t care, darling, it’s all stupid’. And I knew he wouldn’t. He’s done Howard’s show himself. He knows what it’s like.”

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