Simon Cowell: Fox Would Have Been Happier If I’d Remained On 'Idol', Cheryl Cole Will Be Featured On 'X Factor' Premiere

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s television coverage.

Former American Idol judge and rabble-rouser Simon Cowell said this afternoon that he believes Fox “would have been happier if I’d remained on Idol for the rest of our lives and there hadn’t ever been another show.” Speaking to reporters via teleconference to hype his new musical competition series The X Factor that launches next week on Fox with a two-part kickoff (on Sept. 21-22), Cowell added, “I had to explain to Fox why I needed to bring X Factor over. I made the point that someone was going to come over and do another show like this. These are, after all, very expensive shows to produce. Because X Factor had a couple of really good years in the UK first, that sort of sped the process up and (Fox) got really into it.”

Cowell also said that judge Cheryl Cole, who was dismissed from X Factor after one taping, would be appearing on the Sept. 21 premiere but then “during the second half (of the premiere), on Sept. 22, you’ll see (her replacement) Nicole (Scherzinger).” Asked by Deadline if he believes his old show Idol finally will win the Emmy for Outstanding Reality — Competition Program this Sunday, he laughed and replied, “It would make me laugh if the show were to win after all of these years. So watch, it probably will. I’d see that as less threatening to me personally than ironic. I mean, after all of the years I was there, I’d claim victory myself anyway. I’d make sure they etched my name on there.”

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