Belfast Telegraph

Alan Sugar: Cowell needs to banish his beard

Alan Sugar thinks the latest series of The X Factor isn't doing as well as previous ones because of all the gimmicks.

(Cover) - EN TV - Alan Sugar thinks The X Factor's ratings have dropped because of the show's new format, and that Simon Cowell should shave his beard off to be taken seriously.

Music mogul Simon is back on the panel for the 12th series of the singing competition, joining returning judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and newcomers Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw.

With proceedings noticeably different this year (15), such as host Dermot O'Leary replaced and audiences being able to pick the judge's categories, businessman Alan thinks the changes have taken a toll.

“In my opinion, and I say this respectfully to The X Factor, gimmicks don’t seem to work," he said, according to Britain's Daily Star newspaper.

“If I gave Simon any advice about The X Factor he wouldn’t listen to me. But he needs to shave the beard off for a start."

Alan has helmed hit TV show The Apprentice since 2005 and it's set to return to the small screen later this month (Oct15). The BBC has made very few changes to the programme since it began, which is why the 68-year-old TV personality thinks it has done so well, along with the contestants.

Overseas in the States it was Donald Trump overseeing candidates, and Alan doesn't believe it's as strong as its British counterpart.

“In my opinion the demise of The Apprentice in the United States was because of that," he added of the show's gimmicks and alterations. "They started doing all silly things. In the end the television audience saw through it."

Channel NBC have even held talks with Alan for him to replace Donald in the hot seat. However, Alan is wary his appearance would have little impact on viewers compared to the audience he draws in in his home country.

“They did consider me," he said. “But to be perfectly blunt, the American public don’t know who I am.

I could have done both shows but it’s a case of the broadcaster wanting someone who’s more popular with the American public.”

He will be tuning in though, especially now Arnold Schwarzenegger has been confirmed as Donald's replacement on the celebrity version, which Alan believes he'll "c**k-up".

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From Belfast Telegraph