The Voice‘s Danny O’Donoghue has launched a stinging attack on The X Factor – calling the show ‘immoral’ and accusing it of ‘ruining lives’.

The Script singer’s remarks came after suggestions that viewing figures on the BBC1 show had slumped as a result of the judges being too nice to contestants.

Speaking to The Sun, he said, “The stance we’ve taken is that you can deliver bad news in a good way. Maybe it’s not great for ratings but we had a 17-year-old on our show and she wasn’t great. Are we going to destroy her so she couldn’t walk down the street? Absolutely not.”

“You could have ruined her life if you did to her what other reality shows have done to people,” Danny added.

“I’m not there to say ‘you’re s**t, get off. I give them constructive criticism. I know it doesn’t make for good TV. But I don’t want to bring people to tears, who wants to see a kid cry?”

Danny also accused the X Factor of being “scripted” and “staged”, saying, “I’m sure on other shows they all sit back and watch the video tapes about what’s going on that day and decide in the room what to say beforehand.

“We don’t. I won’t play up (to the cameras). That’s not what music is about. Music isn’t a pantomime.”

The singer added that he was unconcerned about the drop in viewing figures – which have more than halved since the series began – as the same happens on overseas versions of the show.

We’re still tinkering with the format but no one is going, ‘Oh no! The ratings — we’re all jumping ship.’ We’re really proud of the show,” he said.

“You can’t expect to get more viewers than the BGT final. It’s a titan and it’s been around for seven years.”