Simon Cowell on Jake Bugg: ‘What’s that?’

'The X Factor' judge hits back at his critics

Simon Cowell has said he does not know who Jake Bugg is.

The record label guru and man behind The X Factor in the UK and US talked about Bugg and other critics of his TV shows in a new interview with Shortlist.

Speaking in 2012 after his debut album went to Number One ahead of former X Factor winner Leona Lewis, Bugg said it was “his job” to be more popular than musicians from reality TV shows.

Quizzed on Bugg’s comments, Cowell says, “What’s that?” before adding, “Ah, that’s a shocker,” when told about the singer-songwriter’s comments.

Pushed on what he thinks of critics, Cowell continues: “Why do people get upset that there is a show that gives people who can’t get a record deal a chance to have a record deal? Everyone’s had a pop at it, and I criticise people on the show so you’ve got to expect it back in return. But you know what? They all secretly watch it. They’re all, ‘I hate it’ and get really angry, but they’re watching it every night.”

Later this month Jake Bugg will perform live at this year’s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. Morrissey and Mary J Blige will also play at the event, which takes place in Norway on December 11. Other artists lined up to play the event include James Blunt and Omar Souleyman. The event will be hosted by actress Claire Danes.