Simon Cowell knew X Factor would struggle last year
Simon Cowell knew last year's 'X Factor' would be a flop.
The music mogul admitted he had his doubts about the line-up, which introduced new judges Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw and replaced veteran presenter Dermot O'Leary with co-hosts Olly Murs and Caroline Flack, but he is confident things will be back on track for its return this year.
Dermot has returned, along with judges Sharon Osbourne, Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger and Simon couldn't be happier.
He told the Daily Mirror: "When we announced the new line up compared to last year, it was 95 per cent positive, no one was saying it was a mistake and that was what we were getting last year.
"I mean the minute we announced it, it was like f**k, this doesn't feel great, let's see how it goes. But it was tough."
While Louis recently claimed Simon begged him to return, Simon insists this didn't happen and says Louis bombarded him with calls throughout last season.
He said: "It was like the Louis I used to know when he was a music manager because he was spitting mad but happy at the same time. He was calling me every week!
"It became so frequent I knew when the call was coming in and I would put him on loudspeaker and read a magazine and he would be screaming and shouting down the phone 'It is not this; it is not that'.
"And I was like: 'Louis I am doing the best I can.'"
Speaking previously, Louis admitted he was delighted that ratings had fallen without him.
He said: "I was sacked. They just told me not to come back. Initially I was annoyed and then I was really happy that it didn't work without me. I'll be honest with you.
"People like the old format, it's a family show. They like a more experienced crew. Getting Sharon back was a tough job because she and Simon don't always see eye to eye. I'm working with people I really like, it's the dream team for me.
"I was offered £1 million for 'I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!' but I couldn't do it. Simon rang me, he's the campest man you've ever seen, and said 'darling don't do the show, I have another show for you'. And that's when I knew I was back on X Factor.
"I trust him 100 per cent, even though he sacked me twice. It's all about ratings for him. ITV wanted to make the show younger but it didn't work."