Belfast Telegraph

Cowell's prank call cons Holden

Britain's Got Talent supremo Simon Cowell has revealed how he conned co-star Amanda Holden into thinking she was being dumped from the show for Cheryl Fernandez-Versini.

The former Girls Aloud star, who has done two stints on The X Factor, had an ill-fated few weeks on the US X Factor before Cowell kicked her off the panel.

Cowell, who recorded a prank phone call to Holden for Radio 1's Breakfast Show, told reporters: "You'll have to listen to Nick Grimshaw's show to understand what this is all about. I did wind Amanda up on the show today. I told her she was being replaced for three days a week by Cheryl on the live shows because she was younger and knew more about music".

Holden, who sits on the BGT judging panel with Cowell, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams, said: "I have to say I feel really bitter towards Cheryl and she doesn't know anything about it."

Cowell was asked to pinpoint the show's enduring appeal - it has been on screen for almost a decade - and joked: "I would have to say me". He added that he had turned down an approach in the United States to do an animal-only talent show.

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