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Will Young: The X Factor needs to do some soul searching

Will Young (Ian West/PA)
Will Young (Ian West/PA)

Will Young has said The X Factor needs to do some “soul searching” and praised Pop Idol, the show that made him a star, for doing things “properly”.

The Leave Right Now singer shot to fame when he won the first series of the ITV talent contest in 2002, defeating rival Gareth Gates.

He told BBC Breakfast: “I was very lucky Pop Idol was fairly naive actually and it was genuinely just a singing competition.

“I think it can be tricky when there’s more outside sources at play, manipulating people.

“We weren’t manipulated, we did just turn up and sing.”

Last month ITV has said there are “no current plans” for another series of singing show The X Factor, which last aired in 2018.

The show had come under criticism in recent years from former contestants including Jedward and Misha B, who have claimed the show mistreats participants.

Mobo Awards 2012 – Liverpool
Misha B has previously criticised the show (John Phillips/PA)

However, former winner Alexandra Burke has said she is “actually quite sad” to see it go, adding: “I did have a wonderful experience on it.”

She told The Guardian: “I had a mum in the industry so you couldn’t walk over me, not with the mother I had.

“My mum would be there and she’d be very strong.

“Not everyone has that person in their life.”

Young told Breakfast he hopes any issues that show has can be looked at saying: “I think it’s always good to have a bit of soul searching and maybe that is what X Factor needs to do.

“I’m really proud of Pop Idol because I think things were done properly.

“We didn’t have social media and people didn’t know what was going to happen.

“They didn’t go ‘Yeah I think one of these contestants might be around in 20 years time’.

“I think it’s probably a good thing and if things need to be redressed then I hope they are.”

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