Britain’s Got Talent boss Simon Cowell has admitted that he is not entirely honest with the younger acts on his TV show.
Viewers have seen several children impress Simon and his fellow judges Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams.
Asked whether he had ever lied as a judge, Simon told Radio Times magazine: “Obviously. Sometimes you have to tell what’s called ‘a kind lie’.
“With a kid dance act, for example, that’s not very good … I obviously can’t say what I really think! Especially if they’re a bit fragile…”
David, who was voted TV’s favourite judge, insisted that he had always been truthful, replying: “That’s why I’m the nation’s favourite.
“People don’t realise we see about 650 people over the series and only one in four of those people make it on to the TV. So there’s a hell of a lot of people who are just mediocre.”
Simon added: “Being mediocre is the worst thing.”
Simon also said when it came to reality talent shows that Cheryl Fernandez-Versini was his favourite judge, suggesting that she could be back for the next series of the X Factor.
And of Louis Walsh, who confirmed he will not be returning to the singing contest, he insisted: “Louis is a great friend and a brilliant judge but we really still haven’t made any final decisions.
“And just to be clear, when they say, ‘Cowell wields axe!’ I’m not the only one making the decision – there’s about 30 people involved.”
Meanwhile, David Walliams said that he was not interested in joining Britain’s Got Talent when he was first approached by Simon, admitting: “I wasn’t sure I’d be any good at judging”.
Simon called his own decision to turn down Take That before they found fame “a stupid mistake” but added: “It happens.”