Will Young: Talking to Simon Cowell is like being with an anti-gay Catholic

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Pop Idol winner Will Young has lashed out at his former mentor Simon Cowell.

The out singer first came to prominence in 2002 after winning reality show Pop Idol – on which Cowell was a judge at the time.

However, Will Young has no kind words for the music mogul.

He told Huffington Post that he couldn’t stomach conversations with the TV judge “would be like speaking to a devout Catholic or something, someone anti-gay marriage and anti-contraception”.

The singer said he’d want to ask Cowell: “What’s it all for? How much is too much? What’s the drive?”

Of his own experience on the show, he said: “I don’t like bullies, and I don’t know if there’s a nurturing side to his shows. It always comes from the top.

“There definitely wasn’t enough pastoral care, and I can’t bear seeing people that aren’t looked after.

“I didn’t like it at school, and with my friends. I’ve never liked it, and that’s my question for him.”

Will Young has previously called for lessons to tackle homophobic bullying in schools, saying: “It is not just educating the kids, it’s the teachers and the heads – that needs to be a priority.

“In fairness, Ofsted is pretty good when it comes to looking at homophobic language, but I think part of the reason is that language and the use of the word ‘gay’ has not come under the definition of homophobia.

“Secondary school heads don’t see it as being homophobic and many say it happens so often ‘how are we going to tackle it?’ And a lot of the time they see it as just kids being kids.”