X FACTOR bosses have reportedly told Simon Cowell they want ‘Mr Nasty’ back.
According to a new report, ITV execs reckon that Simon has grown “too soft” on contestants on the hit show.
The Daily Star reports that he was told at a secret meeting: “You’re too nice – we need you to bring Mr Nasty back!”
Simon, 58, became famous for his waspish tongue and acerbic putdowns on Pop Idol, X Factor and then American Idol in the US.
The paper reports that Simon’s new softer approach came after he became a dad to son Eric three years ago.
But bosses now believe that the music mogul’s new approach might be putting off viewers who are switching over to BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing instead.
An source said: “Simon was politely told to get tougher. Producers know he is open to ideas and wants to make the best show possible.
“He took on board what they’d said, so viewers can expect him to be the Simon they know and love for the rest of this series.”
A spokesman for the X Factor said the story was “complete rubbish.”
But last year, Simon admitted his approach to judging has changed over the years.
He said: “I see clips from the earlier shows sometimes and I’m like, ‘Maybe I was a little bit hard on those people’.
“But if you are going to be a judge on a show then you have to judge, there’s no point saying to someone you like it if it’s terrible. It’s a very different thing when you judge a variety show to a music show because I am outside of my comfort zone.
“I was thinking about it before and I didn’t know if I could do it or not. But then actually, I think I know when something is good and entertaining or when something is boring. So I find it quite easy now.
“But have I changed? I’ve maybe got a bit softer now that I have Eric and my dogs!”