X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos has revealed that she talked Simon Cowell into giving her the job on the show, assuring him it would be a mistake if he didn’t.

Speaking to the Times magazine the N-Dubz singer – who will for her second series as a panellist next Saturday night – confessed that she had had to convince the mogul she was the perfect replacement for Cheryl Cole.

“I pretty much said if you don’t hire me, you’re making a big mistake,” she said,

The 24-year-old went on to win the series with her act Little Mix, and will be hoping for similar victory this time around, reportedly having been given the girls to mentor this year.

She also admitted that her life could have turned out very differently if she had not been so focused on her music, even going so far to say that she would be ‘living with a drug dealer in a council flat’.

“I can imagine just having a baby because there is nothing else to do,” she said, adding that she was driven to succeeed by teachers at school who suggested she would never achieve anything in her life.

“At the time, I didn’t believe failure was an option when it came to music. Music was all I could do,” she said.

“If I didn’t make it in the music business I knew I was finished. If I wanted to succeed, I’d have to stop moping around and go to the studio and work until I succeeded.”