Simon Cowell ‘never predicted’ One Direction’s success

Music mogul speaks out ahead of Britain's Got Talent final this weekend

Simon Cowell has admitted in his first radio interview of the year that he never predicted One Direction’s success.

Speaking to Steve Wright on BBC Radio 2 this afternoon (June 7), the music mogul and mastermind behind TV talent shows Pop Idol, X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent briefly discussed the chart-topping boy band. He also spoke favourably of Olly Murs and 2011’s X Factor winners Little Mix.

“We never predicted this,” he told the radio DJ. “You could never predict this. All we knew is that we had five talented guys. They’re interesting, both One Direction and Little Mix. They’re very smart, these contestants. They knew exactly what kind of records they wanted to make. They’re a really good example of having success but staying grounded.”

Cowell also revealed where the inspiration for starting Britain’s Got Talent came from. The show is currently in its seventh series, with the final to be broadcast this weekend.

“The true story is I was watching a show called Fame Academy,” he explained. “This girl came on and literally murdered ‘Get Here’ by Oleta Adams. I’m watching it in my kitchen and I actually had this thought in my head, “I’d rather watch a dancing dog than watch that.” And that seriously was the idea that got into my head to start …Talent.”

Last year’s Britain’s Got Talent was won by Ashleigh and Pudsey – an act formed of a girl and a dancing dog. This year’s final is set to include a performance from Psy, plus a duet by Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran. It will be broadcast on ITV at 7:30pm on Saturday (June 8).