Will Young, who was the first winner of Pop Idol in 2002, has slammed The X Factor.
The gay singer says he ‘loved’ the innocence of early talent shows but now finds contests now too slick and self-aware.
‘Everything evolves. Pop Idol looks like Eurovision from the 1970s now, but I fucking loved it,’ he told Digital Spy.
‘People know the possibilities [now]. I didn’t know the possibilities, so it genuinely was really exciting.
‘It’s always different when there’s a knowingness to it. It is what it is.’
When Young shot to fame in 2002, his double-A single became the fastest selling debut in UK chart history.
He was the first winner of the Idol series, which has spawned versions in 42 countries including the USA, Australia, France and Kazakhstan.
The format, created by Simon Fuller, ended in the UK after the second season.
Simon Cowell’s first judging role was followed by American Idol four months after Young’s victory, and he later created The X Factor and the Got Talent series.