Pet Shop Boys frontman Neil Tennant has accused Simon Cowell of having a narrow view of music – and thinks The X Factor ignores entire genres of pop music.

Neil said that the ITV1 talent show was ‘basically people singing Whitney, Mariah and maybe Elton’.

In an interview with Radio Times, he asked: “Why don’t they have, say, a new-wave week? Or 80s electro week?”

He added of the show: “If it’s not power ballads then it was a narrower version of disco.

“I remember on Pop Idol, [judge] Pete Waterman told someone, very sympathetically, ‘The thing is, you’re more of a Depeche Mode kind of artist.’ In other words, ‘What are you doing here, pet?'”

The Pet Shop Boys, who release their first album in three years on March 23, will collect an outstanding achievement accolade at the Brit Awards on February 18.

Neil also backed the return of Top of the Pops – but firmly believes it should not be updated.

He said: “It should never have tried to be cool. If it’s brought back, it should be the original format – show the records going up the chart, and the number one.”

It has not been a good day for Simon. Former X Factor host Kate Thornton said she would ‘never talk to Simon again’ after he publicly sacked her from the show and claimed her ousting was ‘just to create headlines’.

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