Simon Cowell has insisted he’s still good friends with Robbie Williams and Ayda Field despite them quitting The X Factor.
Speaking about why the couple left the show, Simon hinted Robbie and Ayda may have wanted “millions” to return.
Speaking to The Sun, the music mogul said: “It was no secret it was millions and millions of pounds.
“I am going to be really honest with you – and this is no disrespect to Robbie or anyone else who has been on the panel – my focus this year is mainly about the people who are coming on the show to compete.
“I’m probably talking myself out of a job here, but I think there has been so much emphasis on the judges. We’ve lost sight of the contestants. It got crazy, I never thought this would happen 20 years ago, when I started this show, that we would be talking more about the judges than the contestants, it’s complete nonsense.”
Simon said Robbie “could see where I was coming from” and insisted they still have a strong friendship.
He added that himself, his partner Lauren Silverman, Robbie and Ayda are going to “coupled-up things together” when he’s back in Los Angeles.
Earlier this month, Robbie and Ayda announced their departure from the show.
A joint post on Robbie’s Instagram read: “Sadly though it’s impossible to do everything … and we’re gutted to tell you we won’t be able to return to The X Factor this year. (sic)”
But the couple said they would still be working with Simon on other projects.
A quick update from Team Williams… it’s been a very busy year so far. Vegas has been incredible and we cannot wait for June and July to do it all again. I’ve got the massive @BSTHydePark show on July 14 and I’ve written the lyrics and music for the #RSCBoyInDress show with @guyachambers – opening on November 8. As well as all this we’ve got some very big announcements coming soon – but we can’t reveal all yet. Sadly though it’s impossible to do everything … and we’re gutted to tell you we won’t be able to return to The X Factor this year. We will, however, be working on projects with Simon going forward – and as huge fans of the show, we will still be tuning into The X Factor, voting and winding Simon up…x
They added: “We will, however, be working on projects with Simon going forward – and as huge fans of the show, we will still be tuning into The X Factor, voting and winding Simon up…x. (sic)”
The pair’s announcement came just a day after Louis Tomlinson – who was also a judge with the pair and Simon last year – admitted he is “less likely” to return to The X Factor panel this year because the show may clash with his album work.
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