Simon Cowell: Nick Grimshaw could date Rita Ora ‘in another life’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

X Factor judge Simon Cowell has claimed that gay radio host Nick Grimshaw could get together with Rita Ora in “another life”.

The music mogul made the claim while discussing the impending launch of the reality TV show, which will return for a 12th series this weekend.

The refreshed judging panel features Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw, who is openly gay – but Cowell spoke about his “love” for fellow panellist Rita Ora.

He said: “Nick and Rita love each other. I mean, in another life I could see those two together!

“She adores him and he adores her, 100%.”

Speaking to Digital Spy, he added that Grimshaw had helped re-vitalise the judging line-up.

He said: “It didn’t feel like judges for hire. It really felt like they were interested in the show and more importantly, they were interested in the contestants.

“I have to credit Nick with this, he has a fantastic energy. People have always said to me that he’s like everyone’s best friend and I didn’t work it out until I met him.

“He’s like a really friendly dog, really friendly, he always wants to be stroked and be happy. There’s not a bad side to him or an ego, he just really likes people and that’s when I figured out what his role was on the panel.

“He plays records to make people feel good and I think he understands the audience. He wasn’t coming in all technical, he’s just a really good guy and now I’ve got to know him properly, he’s really funny.”

Grimshaw has previously spoken about trying to sleep with women when he was in denial about his sexuality.

He said: “I wasn’t repulsed. But it didn’t feel natural. It felt there was an effort, like, ‘Oh, maybe I’ll touch her hair now.’ It felt like acting.”