Sir Cliff Richard has warned music mogul Simon Cowell his TV talent shows will never produce a global superstar, because the contestants are dropped as soon as they fail to hit the top of the charts.
The veteran pop star has been performing for 50 years and has sold over 250 million albums, but he is convinced his career would have been short-lived if he started out today.
He says, "Real stars on that show, lasting stars, will only come when artists get 100 per cent care and attention and are not under pressure to get number ones all the time.
"My first record reached number two in the charts, my second number seven, then nine, then 17, my first number one was Living Doll. That can't happen now. These days a number two is considered a flop and you are not signed again."
Richard has now called on Cowell to give contestants on his The X Factor shows more encouragement to build lasting careers rather than aiming for a string of number ones.
He adds, “Take it from me, the next Elton John, Tom Jones or Cliff Richard will not be found on The X Factor, despite what Simon thinks. It is a shame, The X Factor shows do produce some talent. Even the losers are great.
"If they want to find someone who has longevity, Simon Cowell... (has) to tell record companies we don't just want one-hit wonders and then work with these artists."