Simon Cowell “felt for Nick Grimshaw” after X Factor backlash

But the boss says suggestions he shouldn’t be on the show simply went over the DJ’s head

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Nick Grimshaw’s addition the this year’s X Factor judging panel wasn’t met with universal approval and boss Simon Cowell says he “felt for Nick” before they started filming.

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“Obviously he’d read some of the stuff. It’s not a great feeling going in with people saying you shouldn’t be on the show,” Cowell told RadioTimes.com. “But it literally just went over his head.”

The aim, Cowell explained, was for people to see the side of Grimshaw he knows and the long-standing judge is confident that will happen.

“He’s very funny, good with people, likes people and that, I think, comes over on the first episode. I think people are going to be surprised – in a good way.”

Of whether Grimmers himself feared he’d go the same way as choreographer Brian Friedman – drafted in to replace Louis Walsh in 2007 only to be shifted back out – the DJ replied, “Oh I hope not, no.”

“It’s been really great. I really fell into it nicely,” Grimshaw enthused, with Cheryl Ferndanez-Versini (now an Exec Producer on the show) revealing it was her idea to get him on the panel. “Your idea, my decision,” Cowell teased.

Talking of the differences of being a viewer (he’s been a vocal fan over the years) Grimshaw said it’s the lack of knowledge that’s a surprise.

“You actually know more as a viewer before they sing. When you’re watching on TV you’ll get to meet them like, ‘This is Emma, this is her story.’ I thought the judges must know the sob story, must know what they do, know what songs they’re going to do next. You really, really don’t. You don’t get any briefing. All they told me was ‘You’re going to sit there’. That was it.”

But Grimshaw says that was ideal for him. “It’s quite good to do that because nothing’s really planned on the radio, so it worked perfectly.”

It has to be said, I got a peek at Grimmers live in action and I definitely think he adds extra oomph to the revamped series.

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The X Factor returns tonight at 8:00pm on ITV