Take That star Gary Barlow believes X Factor dressing room was ’bugged’

Gary Barlow has lifted the lid on his time as a judge on The X Factor, claiming producers stirred up drama for ratings.

The 47-year-old singer-songwriter, sat on the panel of the ITV talent show from 2011 to 2013 alongside fellow judges Sharon Osbourne, Louis Walsh, Tulisa Contostavlos, Kelly Rowland, and Nicole Scherzinger.

And ahead of his former bandmate Robbie Williams joining the judging panel this year, the star warned him about what to expect.

He said: ‘It’s going to be great. But I know what’s to come with that show. I know what it does to you.’

And now his true feelings have been revealed in his latest autobiography, A Better Me, in which Gary talks about his time behind the scenes.

An extract taken from the book says, ‘[I hired] someone with a TV head to go, “Listen. The ratings are down this week so [the producers are] going to be looking to create a stir”. Someone to warn me of these things before they happen.’

He claims the show’s producers were playing ‘little games’ and referenced a live episode where Louis Walsh and Tulisa accused contestant Misha B of ‘bullying’ fellow contestants in the 2011 series.

Gary recalled: ‘About half an hour before the show goes live, the producers would come in and and they’d go, “Oh my God. That Misha. She’s a bully. Can’t believe it. She is such a bully. In fact, you know what? You should say it. You should say it on air. She’s bullied everyone all week”.’

But Gary says he refused to make such comments but was shocked to learn of his fellow judges making those remarks.

Gary continued to explain: ‘We developed a bad case of showbiz paranoia. Was the dressing room bugged? They always seemed to know what was being talked about behind closed doors, and eaten, too. What ever happened in that building always found its way to the press.’

Gary left the show after the 2013 series to focus on his own music. At the time he said: ‘Next year is a very busy year for me and X Factor is a full time job so it felt like the right time to hand over the baton.’

He was replaced by Simon Cowell.

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