Simon Cowell insists he 'loves' Gary Barlow ahead of Walk The Line


Simon Cowell has insisted he ‘loves’ Gary Barlow nowadays as the pair put their decades-long feud behind them.

The music mogul, 62, has reportedly been replaced by Gary, 50, on his new show Walk The Line, with Simon branding him ‘the best man for the job’.

Speaking to The Mirror, Simon said: ‘I’ve known Gary for 30 years, I’m mad at him when he is on other shows. Now he’s on my show and I love him.’

Simon Cowell has insisted he 'loves' Gary Barlow nowadays as the pair put their decades-long feud behind them

Simon Cowell has insisted he ‘loves’ Gary Barlow nowadays as the pair put their decades-long feud behind them

Simon added his break from the small screen will only be a short one before Walk The Line begins.

A source also told the publication that Simon cleared the air with the former Take That star recently with their ‘strained relationship’ now a thing of the past. 

Speaking about their renewed relationship, an insider said: ‘It was a really constructive and great conversation between both men who have moved on and are excited for the future. It’s all water under the bridge now’. 

MailOnline has reached out to Simon and Gary’s representatives for comment.  

Show: The music mogul, 62, has reportedly been replaced by Gary, 50, on his new show Walk The Line, with Simon branding him 'the best man for the job' (pictured in September 2021)

Show: The music mogul, 62, has reportedly been replaced by Gary, 50, on his new show Walk The Line, with Simon branding him ‘the best man for the job’ (pictured in September 2021) 

It has long been reported that pair have a ‘notoriously strained relationship’ that stemmed from when Gary replaced Simon as a judge on the US version of the X Factor in 2011.

The source also alleged that Gary was livid over comments made in Tom Bower’s biography on Simon Cowell, where the music mogul reportedly told Tom how Gary’s performance on the X Factor was ‘wooden’.

Tom also wrote in the Sweet Revenge biography how Simon was none too happy about Gary receiving an OBE in 2012.

In 2017, reports also surfaced that Gary faced legal action from Simon – with the Syco owner reportedly consulting lawyers over fears Gary’s new show Let It Shine would infringe his rights.

Simon said: 'I've known Gary for 30 years, I'm mad at him when he is on other shows. Now he's on my show and I love him.' (Gary is pictured right on the UK version of the X Factor in 2011)

Simon said: ‘I’ve known Gary for 30 years, I’m mad at him when he is on other shows. Now he’s on my show and I love him.’ (Gary is pictured right on the UK version of the X Factor in 2011)

After releasing solo album Since I Saw You Last in 2014, Gary returned to TV to hunt for young, theatre talent on Let It Shine, alongside Dannii Minogue and Martin Kemp.

Fearing the series was too similar to the X Factor, Simon was said to have put a team of staff on standby to monitor Gary’s eight-week series.

However at the time, Gary was quick to dispel these rumours – revealing to The Mirror that he had not received any legal documents and was simply focusing on his new project, which he believed to be completely different.

Meanwhile earlier this week Simon stepped down from the judging panel of upcoming ITV musical game show Walk The Line, with Gary as his replacement.

The music mogul will now be replaced by Gary Barlow, someone he’s confident ‘will do a fantastic job.’

The anticipated six-part series is set to air later this year and will present an opportunity for musical variety acts to win a life-changing sum of money.

Making amends: A source also told the publication that Simon cleared the air with the former Take That star (pictured) recently with their 'strained relationship' now a thing of the past

Making amends: A source also told the publication that Simon cleared the air with the former Take That star (pictured) recently with their ‘strained relationship’ now a thing of the past 

The show was set to represent Simon’s return to primetime TV judging after the plug was pulled on The X Factor earlier this year – but the star has confirmed his role will be limited to behind the camera.

According to reports in The Sun, Simon’s decision to step down comes with hopes he will be able to spend more time with his partner Lauren Silverman and their seven-year-old son Eric.

Despite not appearing onscreen – a contrast to what UK and US audiences have become accustomed to over the past two decades – Simon will take on the role of executive producer.

The entrepreneur told the publication: ‘This is a situation where I have decided it is right for me to focus on my role as the Creator and Producer as we build up to the hugely exciting launch.

Tension: It has long been reported that pair have a 'notoriously strained relationship' that stemmed from when Gary replaced Simon as a judge on the US version of the X Factor in 2011 (pictured April 2020)

Tension: It has long been reported that pair have a ‘notoriously strained relationship’ that stemmed from when Gary replaced Simon as a judge on the US version of the X Factor in 2011 (pictured April 2020)

‘Gary’s musical pedigree is second to none – and we have known each other a long time now – so I am delighted he is picking up the baton for me for the first series of Walk The Line. I know he will do a fantastic job.’

Simon previously made headlines back in August last year when he was involved in a electric bike accident at his Malibu home which resulted in him breaking his back.

The incident may have contributed to his decision to step back on Walk The Line.

Gary said in an official statement that he was ‘so excited to be involved.’

Family first: According to reports in The Sun, Simon's decision to step down from Walk The Line comes with hopes he will be able to spend more time with his partner Lauren Silverman and their seven-year-old son Eric (Simon is pictured with Lauren and Eric in 2018)

Family first: According to reports in The Sun, Simon’s decision to step down from Walk The Line comes with hopes he will be able to spend more time with his partner Lauren Silverman and their seven-year-old son Eric (Simon is pictured with Lauren and Eric in 2018)

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