After three series judging on American Idol, sharp-tongued Simon Cowell in returning to Britain for the third Pop Idol outing.

Cowell, dubbed MR NASTY, was a hit on the original English show, which spurned chart-topper Will Young, and found fame in America as a judge on the stateside version - helping Kelly Clarkson and Ruben Studdard land record contracts.

Pop Idol presenters Ant Mcpartlin and Declan Donnelly confirmed Cowell was coming back to the talent show - on condition they wait a few years after a dismal reaction from the public and critics to second series' winner MICHELLE McMANUS.

Some of the judges on December (03) Pop Idol finale publicly stated their displeasure when overweight Scot McManus won, claiming there wasn't enough talent in Britain.

Judge and record producer Pete Waterman fumed, "The winner was rubbish and I think her low sales probably reflect that. She won't even last six months."

Donnelly explains, "We've also had meetings with Cowell. He wants to come back in three years with POP IDOL: THE NEXT GENERATION and blow everybody out of the water again."

30/06/2004 02:51